Living Life in Israel
by Gruny Tzivin
With increasing tensions in Israel as a whole and especially in Jerusalem, people keep asking "how are you"? "how is life in Jerusalem"? "Are you afraid to leave the house"? "Are you living life as usual, going out"? "Is it as bad as it seems"?
Ideally I want to answer "everything is the same", "life is progressing", "seriously I don't get all the panic, here we feel totally at ease".
And for the most part that is true. Life is going on, I (and most Jerusalemites) do go out. We go to work, to school, We go to cafes, to bars. We go to the movies and shopping, and we enjoy ourselves.
There is that other side though. The side that keeps us on our toes. The side that usually walks the dog listening to loud Mizrahi music but is now forced to leave the headphones at home; to be aware of the surroundings. The side that for the first time since living in Israel is entertaining purchasing pepper spray or a pocket knife. The side that due to lack of full-time security guards, has students leaving school early or afraid to come at all. The side that is constantly looking over my shoulder. The side that, for the first time since the 2nd intifada I do have a bit of butterflies in my stomach walking outside or getting on the bus.
Having said all that - אין לי ארץ אחרת - I have no other land. So vigilant as I am (and yes Mom, I really am being aware of my surroundings), I will live life.
I will go to work and occasionally complain about it. I will go to Machne Yehuda market and shop. I will walk my dog and play ball with Shuki and Issa. I will go out. I will have fun.
And most importantly, I won't lose hope.
I won't lose hope for more peaceful times.
I won't lose hope that terror from all sides can come to an end.
And I mostly won't lose hope to be a free nation in our land - להיות עם חופשי בארצינו - with my eye on my home here in Jerusalem!
Gruny Tzivin was born and bred in Brooklyn NY and lived there till about 4 years ago when she made Aliya to Jerusalem. She currently teaches English in a public middle and high school.