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How He Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Israeli Army Laundry Soap

“My plan, more or less the traditional one for Israeli conscripts who are unhappy with their role, was convincing a Mental Health Officer, known universally by their initials as the “Kaban”, to give me a medical discharge. All recruits are given a physical “profile” number, the highest being 97 (it is said that the extra 3 points are taken off for circumcision).”

Itamar is apparently doing a series on how he got out of the Israeli army, a story I have always found illuminating. (He also had a rather poignant and unusual piece on going to university campuses recently.) I would recommend a visit. But I have a question: how does this logic work? 1) They cut off a part of your schlong because they say they have to if you’re going to be an active member of the religion; 2) they pressgang you into a holy war; 3) they declare you somewhat unfit to fight said war because they have cut off a piece of your schlong. ??? I used to say Judaism was the only religion that I’d convert to, because it was the one that never came looking for me, but between this logic and the fact that Jews for Jesus have since made that claim inaccurate…


  1. itamar wrote:

    Woo, publicity.

    The circumcision thing is not the official position, more of a joking rumor, but it is a significant bit of popular culture. Another fun rumor in this category is that the Army spikes the water supply during basic training to cut down the sex drive. This one may well be universal (quick google brought up reference to British during WWII) as it is based on actual physical uh, evidence.

    Thursday, June 10, 2004 at 7:00 pm | Permalink
  2. Roger wrote:

    You’re really surprised at the logic of that circumcision joke? It conforms perfectly to what Freud said about the practice. On Freud’s account, circumcision is a permanent, bodily reminder of subordination to the Law.

    “Circumcision is the symbolic substitute of castration, a punishment which the primeval father dealt his sons long ago out of the fullness of his power; and whoever accepted this symbol showed by so doing that he was ready to submit to the father’s will, although it was at the cost of a painful sacrifice.” (from _Moses and Monotheism_, p. 156)

    Friday, June 11, 2004 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  3. fuz wrote:

    Jews for Jesus are not, in fact, Jewish. I am not that devout a Jew, nonetheless I feel compelled to point out that J4J are in fact former Jews who are now Christian, and are trying to convert others to Christianity.

    Monday, June 14, 2004 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  4. Are you sure 56452 about this?!?

    Wednesday, October 4, 2006 at 4:24 am | Permalink

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