It’s a Beautiful Day to Be Under Attack

10 Jul 2014

idfblog01_artDear Friends,

It’s true, we are under attack here in Israel.

As a matter of fact, I have an app on my phone that tells me every time there is a missile headed for Israel. In just the last hour and a half, the sirens have sounded in Ofakim in the south, in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheva, and in the Tel Aviv area.

Every incoming missile sends thousands of kids in day camp, people at work, diners in outdoor cafes, the elderly in assisted living facilities—and many more—scrambling for cover in the 15-60 seconds they have before a potential missile impact.

Sounds awful, doesn’t it?

Well, it is.

And yet, at the same time, there is an amazing, indomitable spirit that binds all the Jews of Israel. You see, people are still enjoying summer at our gorgeous beaches; as I write my wife Miriam, after having visited the Kotel, is enjoying lunch at her favorite out door cafe, my daughter Ditzah and son Baruch are taking our two little grandsons to a big, new indoor kids park, I’m sitting in my office working, and I can hear kids playing outside in the park nearby.

It’s a truly magnificent day in Jerusalem. Warm, sunny, with a slight chance of missiles.

So, while things are awful, they are simultaneously beautiful.

Here in Israel, thank God, things are always beautiful. At times, however, things also get awful. But the awful passes—though not for those who are killed, and maimed, and shattered by the awfulness—and the wonder remains.

I just want all of you to know, that despite everything you may be seeing and hearing about Israel these days, it’s never been more beautiful to be here than today.

Have a great day,

P.S. – I highly, highly recommend this three-minute video to understand the background to what is going on here.

And, if you have an extra three minutes, below is a Facebook post of mine from a couple days ago:

…Two days ago, some friends and I relocated our Monday evening Torah study group to the yeshiva in the southern Israeli city of Sderot. Sderot is a city of 25,000 where every school, playground, park, and home has been retrofitted with a bomb shelter. For children growing up in Sderot over the last decade, it’s as natural to make a mad dash for a bomb shelter to take cover from incoming missiles from Gaza, as it is to go buy an ice cream cone on a hot summer day.

When we walked into the yeshiva, a class was going on in the main study hall whose focus was to make sure that the students in the yeshiva, all of whom serve in the Israeli army, clearly understand that the cold blooded murder of Muhammed Abu Khadeir represents the antithesis of what Israel, the Torah, Israeli society as a whole, and the Jewish people stand for.

Let us make no mistake, we are at war. And awful, awful things happen in war. Thankfully, the Jewish people are firmly committed to striving—to the best of their ability— even in the exceptionally horrific circumstances of war, and even in the face of an enemy that celebrates the cold-blooded murder of Jewish children, to hold itself to an unusually high standard of morality, ethics, and human compassion.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.