We are told to be strong, “chazak veamatz” . We are told to continue to go about our lives while holding tight to our convictions, rights and faith; and I have.

I made aliyah with my family during the second Intifada. I live in Israel, our homeland, in the country I love with a people I love. It’s an unwavering bond that has only gotten stronger with each passing day. I’ve devoted my heart, my soul, my very existence to be an active receiver of G-d’s promise to us. I do it with a renewed vow of faith despite each loss we suffer. It is so painful to experience blow after hateful blow from our enemy. We are forced to get up, stand tall, and keep moving despite the continuous loss and to honor the memory of those whose precious lives were taken. We have mourned the loss of many brothers and sisters. We have shed collective bitter tears of late that put the dead sea to shame. We feel a pain and agony no one should ever have to experience and it doesn’t seem to end.

We mourn threefold.

We mourn the loss of our people.

We mourn the loss of human character. It boggles the mind how any human can carry out such violent, hateful, crimes. I cannot fathom the evil that has robbed  the soul of a people who can perpetrate such heinous acts.

We mourn the loss of potential. Every terror act takes us miles away from any progress we can hope to achieve of living a peaceful existence. Such barbarism forces us to place more boundaries and more restrictions on the Arab community. They then feel dehumanized which they use as an excuse to escalate their terror activity. How will this end?

I don’t want to despair. I want live free. I am no hippy, but I want a life of love, peace and harmony. I will not find it here in Israel. I will not find it in any country. Not today. Not while hate is alive and well and spreading like wildfire.

Today all I can do is be.

All I can do is exist as best I know how. I refuse to let the tears lie in waste. I will gather from the salty waters the nourishment I need. I will separate the water to replenish my thirsting soul and allow the salt to bring out the flavor of life. I will continue to live among my people on our soil as best I know how. I will try to live a good, proper, meaningful life always keeping in mind the people who no longer can.