It was raining in Washington, DC, yesterday. When the raindrops were falling on my head I thought about the Israeli news headlines covering the barrage of rockets that “rain down on Southern Israel”. Two different places, completely different types of rain. Here in DC, we can be annoyed by the traffic or our clothes getting wet. There, the citizens of Southern Israel dream of walking freely outside their homes without being caught by a siren that is warning them to run quickly to a bomb shelter.
Being away from Israel, away from my home, on these days is one of the greatest challenges of Shlichut. Experiencing the normality of everyday life while knowing that some of my friends and family are under threat, is simply terrifying. Being away from Israel, makes it difficult to express how I feel because no words can fully describe such a painful situation.
So I find myself following the news on every single platform, trying to get as much information as I can in order to feel like I am there in Israel with my loved ones.
One of the moments that caught my attention the most, was a picture of a little boy named Nehorai, hiding in the stairway, closing his eyes and shutting his ears scared to death. I look at this photo and I see myself, a little girl who grew up only 6 miles away from the Lebanon border. I remember the days we could not go to school because of Katyusha rockets. I remember running with my family to the safe room in our home. We were “lucky” enough to have one in our home as opposed to needing to run to one outside. I remember the whistle of the rockets and the boom of the explosion a few seconds afterward. I remember my heart skipping a beat from the boom of a door slamming or a thunder. I know how Nehorai feels because not too long ago this little girl was me.
I think of this brave little boy named Nehorai, and understand I am far away from home for a greater reason of sharing the story of Israel. I decided to do my best to shed light on the complex reality that Israeli citizens are facing with almost every person I meet here. And yes, although much of the reality in Israel is difficult, I always find comfort in my surroundings and being able to put things in perspective, to appreciate the little things in life, and be thankful for our safety and our ordinary routine. This is what I take from those around me and what I hope I am giving back to them.
I look outside my window and sing to myself the famous song by Guns N’ Roses “Nothing lasts forever even cold November rain.” A kind reminder that even the most powerful storm passes. In the meantime, I imagine better days and pray for the arc to come.