Looking Beyond The Violence in Israel: The Positive Impact of War

What is War?

As an American, I grew up without ever having to worry about war. Being raised in Texas especially taught me how easy life really was. Then I moved to Israel and learned the real value of hard work and innovation.

Let me explain. Israel is a country of self-starters. Israel was built by Holocaust survivors and the children of Holocaust survivors. One can only imagine the pain of being taken from their homes, tortured and separated from their families, only to be placed in a country in the Middle East surrounded by enemies. Yet the Jewish people persevered. The Jewish people built up the land of Israel, learning how to transform Israel into an agricultural hub that allowed the early Israeli citizens to thrive.

Unfortunately, war has always been a threat to Israel, from the beginning of the country’s birth in 1948. The people of Israel quickly understood that a strong army and methods of defense were greatly needed, and over the years the Israeli army has grown to be one of the most advanced and most powerful in the world.

The Effects of War

Living in Israel taught me that war is a very real and a very scary thing, yet I also learned that constantly defending yourself from your enemies only makes you stronger. From this perspective, war doesn’t have to be met with a negative connotation.

For instance, war taught me the value of being a self-starter. It taught me that there are things in life that you just can’t take with a grain of salt. It taught me that we are forced to do things we are uncomfortable with, yet we always must hope for the best. War taught me that anything is possible when it comes to survival. I did not understand this before moving to Israel, but I am extremely grateful that I do now.

In fact, one of the most amazing things about Israel is that no amount of wars or violence will ever bring the country down to its knees. The Israeli people have learned how to cope with attacks. They have learned how to stand tall, proud and together as one when their country is faced with a slew of violence. The Israeli’s have created the most innovating technology to protect their country – The Iron Dome – demonstrating their relentless attitude and determination in times of destruction.

Life Continues During War

I will never forget last summer’s war, Operation Protective Edge. Before the war had even started, Israel was experiencing a wave of violence that was sparked by the kidnapping of three boys in the West Bank. My heart was torn.

The day after the news was released that the three boys has been murdered, I went to work with tears in my eyes. It was the same day as our company fun day. I remember looking at my CEO at the time and telling him that I didn’t want to go on the trip. I told him that I was too sad to go out and have fun on such day of sorrow.

i was presented with the option of joining my company for the fun day, or staying behind to weep. I was eventually convinced to come. My former CEO told me that this was the way of life in Israel and that these are things that will never keep people from living their own lives. He basically explained that we couldn’t put our lives on hold for war and tragedy.

I never felt this way because I never had to, but living in Israel taught me that life must go on, even during the hardest days. I saw firsthand what it was like to live in a country so different from America. I went through the hardships and felt the pain of war. Yet I learned from it, I grew from it and I gained an everlasting strength from those times of tragedy.

If there is one key take away from this post, it would be for my readers to understand the impact that war has had – and continues to have – on Israel and it’s citizens. It’s there and it’s real, yet we can only persevere by making the most from tragedy. I spent the best years of my life in Israel, even during the darkest of times, and I will never forget the lessons I learned when faced with tragedy.


About the Author
Rachel made Aliyah at the age of 24. She moved to Tel Aviv from Dallas, Texas by herself, after falling in love with the country on a birthright trip. Rachel currently lives in San Francisco where she works as a content marketing consultant and a blogger for The Huffington Post. Follow Rachel on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook to stay up to date with her most recent blog posts and articles.
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