Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Guard Duty...

The residents of our yishuv (settlement) are responsible for doing the evening and night shift of guard duty (the few soldiers stationed by us do the daytime shift). Three shifts a night - 365 days a year - including Shabbat and holidays of course (protecting lives takes precedence over the laws of the Sabbath).

There are different opinions about what is considered the worst shift to get, but arguably the night of Purim is way up there on the list. A few years ago westbankpapa was assigned the 11:00pm to 2:00am shift.

For those of you who are not familiar with Purim, it is a joyous holiday requiring, in addition to the hearing of the Book of Esther read in the synagogue, the giving of charity to the poor and gifts of food to friends, and the eating of a festive meal. In addition most communities have a big party on the night of Purim which includes food, alcoholic drinks and dancing (men and women separately, in our case). There are usually skits performed, and many take this opportunity to dress in costumes - the more outlandish the better. Purim is also the one day of the Jewish year where it is not only permitted, but actually recommended to get drunk.

In our community the party is usually called for 10:00pm, which means that people start coming at 10:30 and things don't get really started until about 11:00. Pappa's guard duty meant that he was going to miss all of the fun (or so he thought).

Pappa went to the butka (guard duty booth) and the first hour went pretty quietly - while th party for the yishuv slowly warmed up. Then an army jeep pulled up to the gate and stopped, and an officer came over to talk to pappa. It turns out that two 17 year olds from our settlement, after fully getting into the spirit of Purim by imbibing copious amounts of alcohol, had decided to take the injunction to wipe out Amalek a bit too "locally", and had started to walk towards the nearest Arab village to "look for trouble". Luckily for all concerned, the IDF patrol jeep found them first, and they were now passed out in the back. The officer needed to report the incident to the Ravshatz (the person on each yishuv who is in charge of security), so he asked pappa to bring him to the gate.

Purim is the one time of year when even serious people "let go" a bit. Some people take it even further, and dress in wild costumes and drink to their hearts content. The Ravshatz is in this second category. Pappa clung to the hope that it wouldn't be that bad.

He hoped in vain.

After first finding him, it took a good five minutes of explanations for pappa to make himself understood. When the situation finally became clear, they slowly made their way to the gate.

Pappa found himself in the delightfully absurd position of escorting the Ravshatz of the yishuv "three sheets to the wind", swaying dangerously, and dressed as - a belly dancer.

A very ugly belly dancer.

Pappa said afterwards the he didn't know which was funnier, the look on the IDF officer's face as they approached, who kept staring with morbid fascination at a very hairy midriff - or the comical attempts of the Ravshatz himself to quickly sober up.

It turned out not to be such a bad shift after all.

19 Comments:

Blogger Emanuel Ben-Zion said...

We Jews are so funny when we are happly drunk

1:56 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

That is so hilarious! : D

5:40 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger Pinchas Floyd said...

i cant wait to make aliyah so i can say "butka" and giggle uncontrollably inside

6:46 AM, March 10, 2006  
Blogger bec said...

hahahaahahahahaaaaa!!!!!!!!
breathe,
repeat.

4:10 AM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

emmanuel - yes, happy drunk is good!

irina - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

phish - yes, and you can giggle also when saying names like "Kfar Pines" (pronounced like the organ that only boys have)

bec - don't forget to breathe

8:52 AM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger muse said...

That's a classic, I laughed so hard, I forgot how hungry I was/am.
In the early days, into the '80's, the guards doubled as babysitters, since all the adults were partying, and there weren't too many kids old enough to babysit. There weren't too many phones either, so the guards would check on crying babies and call their parents out of the parties and meetings.

10:52 AM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger Balabusta in Blue Jeans said...

That is too wonderful!

2:36 AM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

muse - yes, I also remember when teenagers were few and far between.

balabusta - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

7:51 AM, March 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi just found your blog im very impressed. now im trying to figure out who was ravshatz at the time - either way it couldntve made a pretty picture. glad your husband got to enjoy purim! ps my husband votes for tisha baav as worst shmira - cant eat drink listen to music learn or even sit properly. and of course less of a chance of the ravshatz dressing as a belly dancer. all the best faith

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9:17 AM, April 15, 2009  
Blogger Ericwipe287 said...

Very interesting incident! Yes, jewish are very funny when drunk.

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2:32 PM, December 06, 2009  
Blogger leah said...

Hi,
My name is Leah Arias. I have great idea...I am trying to create a cookbook that will not only be filled with delicious recipes but also bring about an understanding of exactly what Israel really is and how precious our yishuvim are in Yehuda Shomron.
The goal is to get recipes from women throughout the yishuvim... We will have a write up and a photo of each yishuv along with a thought or something about the day to day life of the women behind the recipe. The book will be filled with wholesome tasty food, powerful photos, and the information will shed some light on what is really going on these places and the reality within these homes.
Please contact me if you want to take part in this project. Send a recipe, along with the name of the yishuv you are from and a little bit about yourself.
My email is ourhome.israel@gmail.com

Thank you so much!

Leah

PS
Feel free to pass this along to anyone you think may be interested...

9:49 PM, January 25, 2010  

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