Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 3, 2013
My son finished basic training last week, so we went down to the swearing-in ceremony. The newly minted soldiers swear allegiance to the State of Israel and the IDF and receive a rifle and a Bible (Tanakh).
It would have been great if the ceremony had been held at the Kotel (Western Wall) or some other place central. But noooo — it was held in Ovda, about 20 miles north of Eilat. Because of work, we couldn’t arrange to take an extra day off midweek. We left the house at 5:30, traveled seven hours in each direction, on three buses, shlepping a picnic lunch and food and water for the journey, for a half-hour ceremony. The things parents do!
The scenery was spectacular. The photos aren’t the greatest because they were taken from inside a moving bus (and sometimes not even by a window).
This photo isn’t great but the people give you an idea of the scale (two soldiers from a field camp that we passed).
Entrance of Ovda air force base.
Most permanent bases have their own synagogue, but this synagogue was for the basic training camp. It originally belonged to another base, which was dismantled.
Waiting to march into the square. It was about 40 degrees that day. I was standing at the very back of the crowd, on top of a little hill. All shots were taken with an 18-135 mm lens.
Saluting his officer
Receiving a rifle (he won’t be carrying a rifle when he does his real army service because he’s in air force intelligence)
and a Bible (Tanakh)
Photos taken from the bus on the way home
This is probably coming up to Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater), created by erosion, not a meteor.