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The Jewish People's 3,000-Year Connection to the Desert Remains Strong

When the Jewish people left slavery and Egypt behind, they began their time of wandering in the wilderness. The Jewish connection to the desert has not withered, however. The IDF’s blog brings us this piece on the desert’s importance to Israelis to this day:

According to the Passover story, after escaping slavery in Egypt, the Jewish people wandered for 40 years in the desert on the way to the promised land. Today, the Negev Desert makes up more than half of Israel’s territory. It is home to many of the IDF’s major bases, and significant training and drills take place in this special region.

IDF soldiers endure long and intense training in order to prepare them for any scenario they may face on the battlefield. For those in a combat role, a long “masa” – journey in Hebrew – marks the end of their training and the beginning of their service as IDF fighters. These marches often take place in the heat of the Negev Desert…

Years of living in sparsely populated desert areas and spending lots of time outdoors has taught the soldiers of the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion how to be desert detectives. They can spot a single footprint in the sand and learn volumes from it – who, what, where and whether it’s a security threat or not…

Comprising almost 60% of Israeli territory, the desert is an important part of Israeli life. The IDF works extensively in the desert and therefore its soldiers must be prepared for the extreme conditions they will face. Overall, the Jewish people’s connection runs deep with the arid wilderness and the IDF continues this tradition with extensive activities in the modern-day Negev.

Tags: Israel , IDF

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