These 9 myths and superstitions will make you wonder what exactly goes on inside the head of an IDF (Zahal) soldier.
Don’t Repeat Your Mistakes…
This story has never been verified by an official source, but ever since the alleged incident, soldiers have been taught not to say “hazor”, a word meaning both “repeat” and “go back”, on the radio.
According to the myth, forces were communicating through the radio during a mysterious military operation. One of the forces said “hazor” on the radio, their intention being for the other force to repeat what they had just said. Unfortunately, they were misunderstood, and instead of repeating themselves, the other force turned back and was caught in battle.
The Over-Protective Father
The sailors of the Israel Navy strongly believe in this worldwide myth! You are not allowed to whistle in the open sea because the god of the sea will suspect that you want to woo his daughter, and literally storm.
Dress for Success
When pilots graduate from the Air Force Academy, they receive a new outfit in honor of the completion of their training: a brown leather jacket. The popular sunglasses on the other hand, the pilots buy themselves.
Before women could become combat soldiers in the Israel Navy, there was a strong belief that if a female entered the engine room of a ship, it would stop working. The reason: not a technical issue, but because the ship would be jealous of the woman.
Red Underwear – OUT!
There is a common believed superstition amongst soldiers of the Armored Corps: If the soldiers go on a mission, they are not allowed to wear red underwear. The reason: the red underwear will cause the tank to break down, and the mission will fail.
Purple is the New Black
When the Givati Brigade was re-established, its commander had to pick the color of the brigade’s beret. The color of a beret becomes a brigade’s symbol, and eventually part of its heritage. This critical decision was made by the young daughter of the brigade’s commander, who simply liked the color purple.
An urban legend in the Paratroopers Brigade tells of a soldier who told his parents the location of where he was going to parachute one night. He said that they would be able to identify him thanks to the green stick-light attached to his leg. That night, when the soldier jumped off the plane, the stick-light disattached from his leg and rapidly fell to the ground. The parents were terrified, thinking that their son’s parachute hadn’t opened.
In order to instill discipline in the IDF (Zahal)’s new paratroopers, there is fictitious punishment meant to ensure that soldiers behave. Before soldiers jump off the airplane, a human-sized dummy is thrown out without a parachute in order to check the weather conditions. According to the fictitious punishment, the most problematic soldier is thrown out instead.
3, 2, 1… Take Off!
In order to ensure that a flight will go smoothly, there are three things that pilots do before takeoff: they enter the cockpit with their right leg, they do not switch airplanes right before takeoff and most importantly, they kiss their lover before flying away!