I wish I could say my life is completely normal. On the surface, my daily routine has not changed. I work, shop for groceries, and make my lunch the night before. However, I have changed.
Who ever knew how war could affect someone?
I feel as if this entire country is depressed. Sundays in the Shuk used to be my favorite. People were everywhere, there lines formed to order food, and live bands played at restaurants. Not anymore. Streets that used to bustle with families Birthright kids are barren. I find it astonishing how quickly things change. Sometimes I feel guilty having an enjoyable night out with friends and ice cream.
Times are tense and stressful. I feel helpless. My time left in Israel is limited and I have many conflicting feelings. I am not the homesick type, but this war has made me really wish that I could curl up in my own bed at home. On the other hand, why should I get to escape when all other Israelis have to stay? Why do I get to go to America while kids my age are going into combat and risking their lives every day? I can’t imagine leaving in the middle of this war. I want to be here, to support Israel.
It’s like a tough breakup.
When this first started (kidnapped boys, rockets, sirens), I was confused and didn’t quite understand what the situation would turn into. Then, I was sad and glum, as the events escalated and death tolls on both sides rose. Now, I feel angry. I am mad at people for being so hatful. I am mad at the rioters in Europe and the rioters in Boston. I even feel mad at America for banning flights. I feel isolated and abandoned by the country I call home. I am not breaking up with Israel, but the rapid change of emotions affects my daily life and actions almost too much.
Thankfully, my best friends are here to support me. We support each other and tonight we pow-wowed to discuss our needs from each other in these times. By far, this is not the summer experience I ever imagined. Would I change anything? Absolutely not. This summer has forever affected my life, my perspective on the world, my connection to Judaism, and my connection to Israel. I am a stronger person who has learned to overcome fear. I have learned how to articulate my opinions and feelings, analyze news, and respond to inflammatory anti-Israel rhetoric. I have learned things about the State of Israel that could never be expressed in a textbook, but things I have learned simply from living here through this war. It is impossible to understand and know Israel without being here, and I feel so incredibly lucky that I had the chance this summer to do so.
Don’t think that my summer is coming to a close! I have plenty of time left in the Holy Land, and I plan on taking advantage of every minute. I love hearing from friends and family back home, so please feel free to comment on the post or email me at Shoshana.firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you!!