Time for Clarity #Israel
There is good and there is evil on this Earth. Stay focused.
My Beloved Israel
This war is the most personal and real thing I’ve ever been through, and it’s time for some background before I launch into writing about the war. I was raised Orthodox Jewish in the U.S. on the East Coast. I was raised in an environment that loves Israel, connects with Israel, and recognizes it as the everlasting home of the Jews, with deep admiration for those who live there. The first trip to Israel in my memory was at age 15. I fell in love with the land, the air, the people, the sky, the history, and everything else about this new light in my life called Israel. I tried to convince my parents to let me finish high school in Israel, and not make me return to the U.S. Needless to say, I returned to America after the best 2 weeks of my life, albeit in tears.
I spent the rest of high school dreaming about Israel, following the news, politics, and culture of Israel, and staying in close contact with Israelis I had met while I was there. When I graduated high school I went to Israel for a gap-year along with every other girl I knew, only I was not planning on returning to America afterward. As much as I have always loved and appreciated America, I deeply understood that my place as a Jew was in Israel. My dream came true and in August 2004 my family and I moved our lives to Israel for a journey that only gets more meaningful each year. Living out a real-life dream means constant gratitude for living in this incredible Land. It means we are connecting ourselves and our children to the past, present, and future of the Jewish nation. Our tiny, scrappy people have gone through horrific atrocities as a nation from a variety of aggressors throughout history. Living in the Land that is Jewish at its core is living a life our ancestors dreamed of for thousands of years. Israel as the Jewish nation is a promise of safe haven for Jews all over the world in the post-Holocaust era.
Time For Clarity
Let there be no mistake here. Israel is a nation of light, peace, productivity, family, tradition, education, hard work, democratic values, and amazing people. Israel wants to be left alone to build and thrive and welcomes anyone who shares that peaceful vision.
Hamas is our generation’s evil beast, similar to the Nazis in our grandparent’s generation. Hamas places no value on human life, not even the lives of their own people. Hamas live-streamed their atrocities for the entire world, stamping out any legitimate calls for moral equivalency. There is none. Good and evil do exist in this world, they always have. And in all of history, when evil forces attack good men, good men are forced into doing bad things to bad people to preserve the good. Our generation is not different from those who came before us, we’re just more confused. The time for confusion is over and the time to stamp out an evil beast has arrived.
Gaza is now fully associated with Hamas and will forever be associated with the atrocious massacre. I truly hope that the world ensures that any innocents who remain in Gaza who do not support Hamas find passage to safer countries, and if the entire world puts their money where their mouth is, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Or the world can leave those innocents as captives of Hamas, as they’ve done for the last two decades, and tie their fates to Hamas. Good people are about to do bad things to bad people, just as America did to Nazis who were herding Jews and others into gas chambers. “Regular Germans” bore the consequences of the evil beast they allowed to grow in their midst. Don’t forget, for every Nazi and Hamas terrorist, there’s a mother who raised him.
Our tiny country that badly wants to be left alone and live in peace has suffered an attack of biblical proportions. I believe the upcoming chain of events will be biblical as well, and like every time we’ve been attacked in prior decades, we will once again emerge victorious against evil crashing through our gates, with the help of G-d.
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Week 2 is beginning and after about a year’s worth of news and events packed into the last week, we’re starting our day knowing that we have no idea what today will bring. We don’t know what atrocities are yet to be revealed and we don’t know what will happen during the next phase of this battle for our existence. We DO know that hundreds of thousands of our husbands, brothers, sons, friends, neighbors, and relatives are about to face the evil beast.
I need to explain the level of focus, strength, faith, and energy that is happening off the battlefield in Israel right now. 300,000 and then another 60,000 reservists were called up to fight. That means a huge chunk of our men and young adult children grabbed their uniforms, some basics, maybe some snacks, and a couple of pairs of underwear and flew out the door throughout Saturday and in the days that followed. No army could be prepared logistically to feed, clothe and house that many extra people overnight.
Without question or complaint, the Israeli people stepped into the role of taking care of the boys and men who just dropped everything to stave off evil and protect us, their families. With schools and many businesses closed, everyone is focused on efforts to help, in a manner that makes the tears fall from seeing the overwhelming positive light that comes as a response to the darkest day in our lifetimes.
On days 1 and 2 we were in a state of utter shock. Can’t move, can’t breathe kind of shock. Raging questions went through our minds, intense fear at what lies around the corner, and sadness so big we didn’t know where to put it. On days 1 and 2 the streets were empty and eerie. By day 3 people started to emerge from the initial shock and assess what needed to be done.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that never in my lifetime have I seen the power of people so clearly than we’ve seen this week here in Israel. As we settle into an unsettling routine, we’re coming to learn to expect the unexpected. We really don’t know what turns our day will take. Calls and messages come in fast and furious regarding hundreds of grassroots, volunteer-led positive initiatives. Everyone is using their personal skillset to chip into efforts to support not only the soldiers but also the wives and young children that many soldiers left behind.
The People of Israel are binding to each other in a way that gives all of us strength, and I pray that the light coming out from the darkest days we’ve ever seen will give us strength to continue doing what we need to do until our beloved country is safe and secure from beasts who wish us dead.