Kevin Medansky

Awareness and Fulfillment: Finding the Balance

Air raid sirens in Haifa.
Bomb threats for Ben Gurion Airport.
Potential ground troops in Gaza.
No more peace treaties.

As I lie in bed at a Kibbutz in the northern part of Israel, I inform my roommates of the crisis at hand, reading aloud article after article. Finally, as my two friends remain under their covers, waiting for me to end my lectures, I ask them, “Do you want me to stop?”

They pause. They stutter.

“If this makes you feel uncomfortable, I’m happy to read about this to myself. You need not have nightmares on my account,” I reassure them.

They pause again, and one requests of me, “if you wouldn’t mind, maybe this isn’t the perfect time.”

So, I stop. After finishing to compare and contrast a selection of the day’s news reports, I close my laptop and take a deep breath.

There are two signs in the hallway and one in my bedroom that direct me to the building’s bomb shelter. The kibbutz’s inhabitants have familiarized themselves with the timbre of the air raid siren. Tonight, I will be okay.

However, I face a deadly predicament. To what extent must I perpetually focus on the violence just a few kilometers from where I sleep? Furthermore, can I care about the issue, while still not dedicating my entire life towards it? Where is the line between care and stress?

Everyday, I await a time of peace, whenever that may be.

But I’m here in the north and though I lie in the valley of the shadow of death, I have no fear: tomorrow, despite the violence, I will still be alive to greet the day.

Perhaps it is the wrong time to talk about violence. Maybe a perpetual fear of what may happen next isn’t beneficial. Although I can’t read every essay and interpretation tonight, my heart is in the south.

And, tomorrow, I’ll begin again.

About the Author
A current student at Haverford College, a liberal arts college just northwest of Philadelphia, and a graduate with honors of Glenbrook North High School of the northern suburbs of Chicago, Kevin Medansky has travelled to and lived in Israel, graduated as a Write On for Israel fellow, and published a dissertation detailing the many ingredients of an innovative society, using Israel as a case study.
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