Dear Israel,

This is going to sound corny, but I’ve got to say it anyway. I love you. And I’m so sorry that once again you are fighting for your survival.

Being a writer, I wish in the midst of your hardship I could write the most inspiring article I’ve ever written. An article that would be passed around by millions on social media. An article that would both comfort and encourage a nation.

But I’ve got nothing. Except to repeat what I’ve already said. I love you.

I left a part of my heart with you when I recently visited. As Willie Nelson and Elvis said, “You are always on my mind.”  Or, as someone you might relate to a bit more said, “Wherever I go, I go to Jerusalem.” The point is, I think about you all of the time.

I think about the “secular” husband and “observant” wife who graciously let my husband and daughter join their Shavuot table at the last minute, hours after we landed in Israel.   I hope the love and hospitality they showered upon my loved ones will return upon their own heads.

I think about the group of IDF soldiers who let my daughter take a selfie with them. I hope the smiling, laughing young men she captured on her phone will live to be smiling, laughing old men.

I think about the restaurant owners in Tzfat who didn’t just feed our bellies, but fed our souls. And I’ll remind you, Israel, what the wife of the establishment reminded us; that everything happens in our lives in “just the right hour.” I hope that your hour of peace and redemption is just around the corner.

I think about the artist in Tzfat who let me sit at her family’s Shabbat table. Wisdom flowed out of her as easily as the wine that was poured into my glass. I hope her paintings that depict peace and redemption will soon become reality.

I think about the retired lawyer who moved to Israel from Brooklyn. Like others, she opened her door to strangers, non-Jews at that, and immediately embraced us with a motherly hug. I pray that Hashem gives her a divine hug in return.

I think of the kids on the beach in Nahariya who became Instagram friends with my daughter. I pray that they will live to see peace come to their nation, soon and in our day.

I think of the beautiful, brave pioneers we embraced in the Heartland of Israel who are claiming the land and building houses. I pray that their homes will stand untouched by bulldozers or rockets.

I think of our friend who proudly showed us the city of Ma’ale Adumim. I pray the small “settlements” throughout the Land will grow even faster and larger than his fair city.

And of course I think of our dearest friends in Jerusalem. When I sat at their Shabbat table, with their children and grandchildren, I felt as if I was sitting with royalty. Which of course, I was.

Israel, you are not just a nation. You are a kingdom. A kingdom of Light radiating to the nations. Which makes it that much harder to understand why the nations continue to try to extinguish that Light. May their efforts be an epic fail.

Last night as I fell asleep, it was raining and I was thinking of you, as I always do.  And this is what I prayed: May the only thing to fall from your skies be the rains in their proper seasons. May the only reason children run throughout your streets is in joyous play. And may the only reason people from the nations ever grab at you is to grab ahold of your Light and to say, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you!”

Love & Prayers,

Your Biggest Fan