Monday, April 26, 2010

Mazal tov: Decision edition

Twelfth grade girls across the country will agree that the Sherut Leumi (National Service) application process is notoriously frustrating*.

Best described as an emotional roller coaster, the process generally involves copious tears, an online registration system which never seems to work, and considerable heartbreak and disappointment.

In stark contrast, when 12th grade boys apply to hesder**, there’s neither aggravation nor frustration.

Or, rather, I should say that there’s no aggravation or frustration for the boys themselves.

But when it comes to their parents – not to mention their assorted grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and other relatives - it’s a whole different story.

You see, the boys’ mantra is “what’s the rush?” – a phrase which is cleverly designed to drive the most easy-going of parents crazy.

Here’s how it works:

The boys spend their senior year going on shvu”shim (i.e. checking out different yeshivot).

And then, as the weeks turn into months, the naive parents casually ask their beloved sons about their plans for the following year.

“Have you made a decision yet?” the parents innocently inquire.

And inevitably, the darling boys reply, “What’s the rush? It’s only Chanukah/Purim/Pesach/Yom HaAtzma’ut, etc. There’s still plenty of time…”

Indeed, one mother (feel free to identify yourself in the comment section, if you so desire) reported that a few years ago, as Rosh Chodesh Elul (i.e. the start of the yeshiva term) rapidly approached, she half-jokingly said to her indecisive son:

“Look. I’ll be more than happy to drive you to your yeshiva on the first day of the zman (term), but where are we going? Can you at least give me a general direction. North? South? East? West?”


Thus, I’m thrilled to announce that this evening, at precisely 8:30 PM, the CTO finally officially registered for next year in one of Israel’s most prestigious hesder yeshivas.



The Our Shiputzim editorial board extends our best wishes to the CTO and his classmates for continued success  in all their future endeavors.


*Here in TRLEOOB (=the real life equivalent of our blog), we’ve not yet experienced this particular cultural phenomenon (i.e Sherut Leumi) firsthand. But if you have – either as a bat sherut or as the parent of a bat sherut – and would like to write a guest post about it, please contact me at the email address listed towards the top of the sidebar to the right.

**I refer specifically to yeshivot hesder, because I’m most familiar with them. However, my understanding is that this post also holds true for the various yeshivot gevohot (of every stripe) and even the mechinot as well.


  1. Mazal tov!
    As a mother of 12th grade twins-both a male and a female-I had the unique pleasure and privilege of dealing with BOTH experiences simultaneously! Luckily, the sherut leumi process for us wasn't too traumatic and that has been decided. As for a yeshiva for my son next year, well, it's only lag b'omer....

  2. Mazel tov!!! May he continue to give us the nachat he has always given us.
    Love Savta

  3. Malke - Yup. There's plenty of time. After all, there's over three months from now until Elul...

    Imma - Amen!

  4. Sounds like the mom had a sense of humor about asking for the general direction. Not having things settled at that point would drive me crazy.

  5. Mazal tov!
    There's a very pragmatic reason why it's easier for the fellas. There are too many heshivot hesder and mechinot and stam yeshivot etc. Most can easily accept more boys.

    But for the gals the situation is the opposite. The official budget for Sherut Leumi places is very limited.

  6. Ariella - I've found that the longer one lives in Israel, the less one is bothered by this "what's the rush" (i.e. מה בוער in Hebrew) attitude.

    Batya - That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

  7. I am sure you are both proud and glad. Thanks for sharing the good news with us.

  8. Congratulations for getting excepted and registered for this Yeshiva.

    Learning in Yeshiva is a whole new ball game compared to studying in Yeshiva high school.

    Some of the popular places do get booked up, and you are not always excepted to where you want. My son got into a very pretigious place, but had to give an answer and money, but Rosh Hodesh Nisan. In the end he went somewhere else. But even after he had decided where to go, he wondered whether he oughtn't to check out somewhere else.

    Enjoy the process and your son's growth next year in Yeshiva, but first, good luck for the Bagruts!

  9. Ilana-Davita - "proud and glad"
    Exactly! We're very proud of all that he has accomplished B"AH, and we're very happy that he finally made a decision about next year IY"H... :-)

    Keren - Thanks. The truth is that if it was up to the CTO, he'd probably take a few more months to make a final decision. But fortunately, the Yeshiva told him he had to let them know by Lag BaOmer...

  10. what a fascinating post! thank you for sharing your good news *and* observations, experiences, etc.

    i wonder if the gender line is similar everywhere (ie: americans applying for college-- are girls earlier in their submissions, etc?

    thanks-- this was a fun read.

  11. Minnesota Mamaleh - Thanks for your kind words.
    "i wonder if the gender line is similar everywhere"
    Interesting question. My guess is that human nature is the same all over. But in most places, they don't make as many allowances for this "what's the rush" attitude as the system does here in Israel...


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