Our last day of Gadna was one filled with excitement. We waited for the strike of 11 o’clock when we would finally return to real society. The three and a half days of Gadna was both an interesting and challenging experience. The reality of Ms Mitchell, Rabbi Benji and Miriam not being there to take care of us meant we had to be ‘at attention’ at all times, listening to all instructions with immense concentration. Our days were filled with standing in two lines within 10 seconds and forming a chet and standing at attention within 10 seconds. As difficult as this was for us, we realised very quickly that they weren't joking around and we would have to have the upmost discipline to survive our Gadna experience. The most important thing that I learnt from Gadna was that in order to enjoy training and using guns, a person must be disciplined in all aspects and absorb as much knowledge from their Mefakedet as possible.
At 10:30, it was time for our final ceremony and for all the groups to stand together as one powerful force, to see who went above and beyond what they were asked. Many of Moriah’s IST freshly-minted army soldiers won awards and the applause was impossible for our commanders to contain when we heard our brothers and sisters being called up. One by one, each group was dismissed and had to report to their Mefakedet to return their army clothing and put on their civilian clothing, as well as to meet the people behind the uniform. My Mefakedet’s name was Adi. A 20-year-old women, who’s first group was a energetic, flamboyant group of 16 year-old Australian Jews, visiting Israel for 5 weeks. After our emotional good byes and begging the officers to touch their gun, we had to leave Gadna and return to reality in Jerusalem.
The last day of Gadna, was the most memorable day of all the boys experiences and finally realising that not matter how bad things get, we have each other to pull us up again. Now being back on the program, I realised exactly why Gadna was put into the program because it helps us to become more responsible, independent and helping us realize that there is more to life than just being in high school at Moriah.
This experience was taught me a great deal of things such as to give your undivided attention to your friends and even people you’ve barely spoken to before. Most importantly however, it has taught me that Year 10 at Moriah is a family and that no matter what, we will always be there for each other.