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Purity of Arms

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Sport in Israel  E-mail
by Leon Glasser-Efrat, Israel

The Bnei Akiva chevra did the shalat part of their Nachal service, at kibbutz S'de Eliyahu in the Bet Shaan valley - hot as hell in summer. We were invited to compete in the Alifut Tzahal in swimming and water polo at the Bat Galim Pool in Haifa, two weeks later. 1 had played first league water polo for WITS in 1952, but to become fit again was a problem - the kibbutz had no pool!

So I trained in the fishponds. The carp related to me as bait, especially when getting in and out of the bots! 
I always liked gefilte fish made from carp - but this was the opposite - it was a fishy, slimy
business getting fit that way. Ha Kol for Nachal! At the competition, I won 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal for swimming and water polo. "Lekker so".
I did not participate in competative swimming for 45 years.

When I went on pension , my grandchildren enrolled me at the swimming pool at the Gush Etzion Matnas. I competed in the Hapo'el Alifut 2002 in Givat Chaim. This time I won 2 gold medals and 1 silver medal - exactly as I had done in Nachal in 1957 and broke the Israeli record for the 200m freestyle for the 65-70 age group. If you ask how I have managed to keep fit for those 45 years since Nachal - Nu, it was by blowing the SHOFAR on Rosh Hashana, which also needs gezunte lungs as in swimming !