IDF by the Numbers – Passover Edition


One of the traditional songs of Passover is Echad Mi Yodea (“Who Knows One” in Hebrew). The song is based on numbers in Judaism such as the four mothers and ten commandments. Here’s a special Passover edition- IDF by the numbers!


Every candidate for military service goes through a lengthy process before finally drafting to the IDF. From the beginning of the drafting process, each person receives a military ID number. After drafting, the soldiers receive an ID card which they are required to carry at all times.



In the battlefield, combat soldiers are divided into pairs. The soldiers in each pair must always keep sight of one another during the battle and have each other’s back in any scenario. The expression “Iron Pair” symbolizes the bond that is forged between the two soldiers – unbreakable as iron.

iron pair


The Ground Forces, the Air Force and the Navy.






The General Staff Commands is a document that contains a list of orders which every soldier in the IDF must follow. One of these commands is that a soldier is entitled to six hours of sleep each night. Not letting a soldier have his or her six hours of sleep is a violation of his or her rights.

sleeping soldiers


Another order in the General Staff Commands is that each soldier is allotted seven minutes to dress in full uniform and get ready to start their day.

seven minutes


Throughout Israel’s history, there were several wars and operations in which a campaign medal was created afterward to mark the battle. So far in Israel’s history, eight medals were created.



In the IDF there are 9 officer ranks:




Based on medical exams and several other parameters, every soldier has a medical profile. The purpose of the profile is to indicate the soldiers physical and mental compatibility as well as competence for service in combat roles. The highest profile number is 97 and the lowest, 21, releases the person from military service.

medical profiles


The IDF was established during the War of Independence, and originally had 12 brigades: Golani, Carmeli, Alexandria, Kiryati, Givati, Etzioni, 7th, 8th, Oded, Harel, Yftach and HaNegev.

historical brigades


The elite Naval Commando got its name after an heroic incident involving a member of the Palyam (the sea force of the Palmach), Ze’ev Frid. Frid’s ship drowned on the 13th of the month, and Frid managed to swim all the way back to shore. Following the incident, the members of the Palyam met on the 13th of each month to mark the miraculous event.

shayetet 13