About Those Few Israelis “Unaffected” by the Rockets and Sirens

So we’re supposed to keep on going about our daily lives as normal.

G-d help me, I’m trying.

My kids, thank G-d, still somehow have no idea anything is going on (no sirens have blared where we live, thankfully). I’m trying to maintain positivity and keep on reassuring my family and friends abroad that everything’s okay – which, I suppose, it is, under the circumstances.

I alternate between burying myself in my work and my poker side projects and wanting to “escape” it all via vegging in front of shows and movies. Mostly what I keep ending up doing, however, is scanning Facebook for “war posts” and refreshing the homepages of news sites. Not healthy…. I know.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to concentrate for lengthy periods of time. While things may not directly be affecting me, they are affecting my friends and my country’s citizens on a near hourly basis. And thus, they affect me too.

I partially wish we’d all get ordered by Home Front Command to stay home so that we private citizens wouldn’t have the added pressure of our workloads to deal with and could just be “excused” and at home with our families. But our economy has to keep on humming along. The world needs their uninterrupted flow of services and goods that our country provides (whether they know about it or not). Plus, we’ve all still got bills to pay. Beyond that, I do think that hunkering down and “stopping everything” really would send the wrong message to our kids. So onwards we go…

Heroes? Really? I’ll Show You Heroes

I wonder openly though how “heroic” it really is to keep on going about our regular daily lives. Posts, jokes, and musings about this latest round of conflict that I keep seeing from SO many people on social media are getting more and more surreal. Simultaneously, it seems as though our people are waging a media war against “the usual suspects” to get our story told as well as a “war on the consciousness of the rest of the world” to somehow try and get them to pay attention to what’s going on here while they’re “distracted” by everything that’s going on in the sporting world as well as their local lives. For what it’s worth, I AM trying my best to be a good ambassador.

Who’s a real hero? Someone like my cousin Jessica, who will be making aliyah with her family in just a few days… To willingly throw oneself into our milieu right now? Some will say it’s “insane” while others will call it “praiseworthy”, but I prefer the term “heroic” – there can be no doubt that they’re making a bold, dramatic statement.

Luckily, Still Able to Cope, Hope, and Pray

And through all of this – my worries, thoughts, complaints, and opinions – I keep on thinking that I truly have it easy. I’m no soldier nor do I serve in the IDF reserves. I pray for them with all my might. I have yet to witness my family enter a bomb shelter (though I’ve done so a few times while at work). We are all healthy with no “real” disturbance to our lives – we even had a relaxing day by the community pool on Friday – one of the increasingly rare ones that can remain open uninterrupted in this country. I even have the luxury of theorizing about all of this here on the Times of Israel. War, eh? I’m really one of the lucky ones…

Throughout the length of this conflict I’ve been wondering: “what should I say?”, “what can I say?” and “does it even make a difference?” As a writer, the cardinal sin is to remain silent. But now, with war raging, I can’t help but feel that these words just don’t matter.

Yet, writing this all out is helping me cope in one of the best ways I know how. So, if these words have resonated with you or helped you in any way, please do share them and know that I’ll be reading your comments. Maybe what you have to say will, in turn, help carry me through these tough times.

May G-d please, PLEASE give me the continued strength to have Emunah and Bitachon that we, individually and as a nation, will emerge from this unscathed – and soon! With all of our due praise for our IDF soldiers and for our Iron Dome defenses, I humbly believe that we cannot “just” rely on ourselves and our efforts. We must keep turning, united, to Hashem to lead us with Divine assistance and deliver victory over those who seek to destroy us.

Shavua tov to you all.

About the Author
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Robbie Strazynski has been living in Israel since 1998. He's the founder of Cardplayer Lifestyle, one of the world's top poker blogs, the co-creator of the Poker Notes Live mobile app, and co-host of the Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast. His full-time job is as the Head of Content Strategy for a publicly-traded Internet Marketing company, which operates a number of top online casino, poker, and sports betting sites, including He currently resides in Ginot Shomron with his wife and 3 children.
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