A Complicated Story of Terror and Pride
Are you anything like me? Do you wake up in the morning and scroll through the notifications on your cell phone to see what happened in Israel while you slept? I live in the Washington, DC area so with the seven hour time difference usually just as I am drifting off to sleep the people of Israel are waking up to a new day.
Do you check your social media feeds throughout the day and well into the evening? Do you do this every single day, in good times and bad? I do, because while my passport signifies that I live in the United States, my heart most definitely resides in Israel.
During quieter times my phone notifications tend to focus on political and cultural news. Unfortunately for the last few years, it has been filled with news of terror attacks. As I read about each stabbing, each shooting, each Molotov cocktail that is thrown at innocents and the occasional rocket launch that’s tossed in for good measure my mind reflects on the who, what, and where. Most especially the where, did the attack (or thwarted attack) occur in an area I have visited? Was a soldier, older person, mother, father, teenager, or child injured or killed this time (God forbid)?
You see, the violent attacks on Israelis are not selective, they are aimed at the entire population and while my immediate family and I are not in the direct line of fire, we are still very much experiencing the fear, pain, and ultimate determination of the Jewish people in Israel. The terrorism inflicted on the Jewish people in their homeland is a terror inflicted on all Jews, and indeed on all peace loving people. The story of Israel is the story of my ancestors and my extended family. It is an ancient and very modern tale with twists and turns, happy parts and very dark, painful sections.
It is a difficult truth that living a life tied to the Jewish nation means that I will shed my share of tears but thankfully I will also be given a myriad of reasons to feel joy and pride. The harder part is raising children to live lives connected to Israel.
No parent wants to give their child reasons to feel fear or sadness but with each attack, each stabbing, shooting, or rocket launch, our children can not help but feel that anguish that has ripped through our people with every pogrom, forced exile, learning about the Holocaust, and modern day Anti-Semitic attack.
What is the alternative? If we try to shield them from the pain we are in effect raising them not to care, not to know and then they are disconnected from their people in a way that is not only dangerous to the Jewish people but also wholly unfair to the child who is cut off from their birthright.
It seems that to live a life connected to the Jewish nation and her people is to live a life where the pain of terrorism rears its’ ugly head.
And while many of us around the globe are not under a direct threat we are still very much a part of the story.
So let’s keep telling our children about their history and heritage. Let’s raise them to know from whence they came so they can walk tall and proud.
We are after all the people of hope and my hope is for the day we can live in peace among our neighbors and the sadness can fade to memory.
Heidi Krizer Daroff enjoys sharing her passion for Israel with others as North America Director of The Israel Forever Foundation. While her passport indicates that she does not reside there, her heart definitely does. Heidi invites you to grow your involvement and add more Israel Forever into your daily life.