Tough and Tender: Being Israeli
by Laura Ben-David
My kids were dancing to their favorite Israeli songs, playing loudly from my phone. I barely heard the blip of a notification and just managed to catch the message banner at the top of the screen: yet ANOTHER terror attack had been committed against Israelis.
As I read the words, absorbing their devastating meaning, I couldn't help hearing the cheery lyrics of the song that, almost absurdly, continued to play; utterly incongruous with what I was reading:
"אני יודע שהכל יהיה בסדר..." "I know that everything is going to be okay..."
Incongruous, yes. But an incongruity that is oh, so Israeli. A flippant comment that contains our answer to years - generations - of wars, oppression, attacks, and simply facing the impossible.
Our answer to the things that we don't yet have an answer to is always "yihyeh b'seder" - it will be okay. Why? Because it has to be. It is our very survival.
We are going through an incredibly difficult time right now. It may get worse before it gets better. But we are Israeli, and that means we are tough. We know we will get through this.
Many people have adjusted their activities, are spending more time indoors. Staying indoors does not mean people are not strong.
The streets are quieter. People are alert, cautious, vigilant; but we are not despairing. We are not cowering. We are protecting ourselves; there is no shame in that.
We may find ourselves uttering "yihyeh b'seder" just to keep things in perspective. Or we have to do everything in our power to keep our perspective just to utter those words... But utter them we do. Because we are resilient. We don't give in. We don't give up.
We are Israel.
Inspired by her Aliyah experience, Laura began writing and never stopped. She is the author of the book, MOVING UP: An Aliyah Journal, a memoir of her move to Israel. She has spoken about Israel and Aliyah all over the United States and Israel. Formerly the head of social media at Nefesh B'Nefesh, Laura is currently the director of marketing at Shavei Israel, as well as a marketing consultant.