We Are Not Fine

We are not fine. How can we be? Terror attack after terror attack in two weeks alone is more than enough to consider ourselves “not okay.”
How can we be…”normal” when ambulance sirens are a constant reminder that people are being stabbed in our streets.

It’s true, I admit it — I look over my shoulder a little bit more than I normally would. I confess that I changed my routine because I can’t run past the place where terrorist jumped on a bus and began shooting.
I can’t allow those images into my mind and I can’t bare the thought of running past the place where someone — just recently — lost their life.

I can’t run in my neighborhood because just last week twelve people were injured and another died…just down the road.

I am not fine with terrorists hacking at Jews just because we are Jews. I have not come to terms with this as a simple way of life and I am not satisfied with the way the world understands what is happening in my beloved homeland.

We are not fine because we are under attack.

Everyone keeps saying that “fear is a sign of defeat” but the truth of the matter is — I am afraid. Call me a coward, say that I am allowing the terrorist to win. But last week, when ambulance after ambulance chased down the streets of my neighborhood…fear gripped me. Why?

Because my mother had just left to catch the bus. My brother was on his way downtown through the streets of Jerusalem and my father was walking on the same road where a terrorist used his car to smash into an man — killing him.

Fear gripped me when the headlines read “Stabbing on Ahuza street in Rananna”.

My best friend lives on that street. When I served as a lone soldier in the IAF I would make my way down that very street, coming home to a warm meal provided by her family. I would wait for my bus at the same stop where the stabbing took place.

Truth is I am not okay with my younger brother and sister sitting on the Lebanese border protecting our country. Proud — of course. But I am not okay with the fact that we Jews cannot live peacefully in our land. I am not okay with the thousands of years of persecution that have not stopped.

I am not okay with terror on any level.

I am disappointed in the way the world portrays the events that are happening here. I am saddened that the news does not say “Terrorist treated by Israeli doctors and has been saved”

I am emotionally drained when my sister-in-law, who just moved here a few months ago, asks me how I deal with it all. I am not at peace with the lives we lost and the horror will never leave me when I read “A father and mother killed in front of their children”

I am sickened by the death of a fellow soldier, my little brother’s same age. I mourn for his family and the idea of losing someone so young hits too close to home.

I am not okay with my grandparents worrying sick about us. And I am not okay with my friends in America not understanding the depth of what is going on here.

Fear is not a sign of defeat. Fear is a real, true emotion that is felt by most Israelis these days. The defeat is when we become like the terrorist. Defeat is when we allow our fear to turn to hate.

Today we danced in the Beer Sheva bus station. We danced with our fear under the flag that we call home. We danced with our sadness in hopes that one day soon we will dance only with our joy.

The truth is I do not know if the violence will end soon. I hope it will. I pray and trust that it will. And I hope that one day our dancing will not be in defiance of the evil but rather in the peace of revival.

Today we danced and tomorrow we will dance again.

Here in Israel, children still go to school, buses still continue to run, Universities are filled with eager young students and businesses are open for the next customer. It has been a couple of heavy weeks, filled with fear and confusion. While we feel these emotions, we still love to live and will continue to fight for life while we dance.

The people of Israel live. We have lived and we will continue to live.

Today and forever we dance.

עם ישראל חי!

About the Author
Michelle made aliyah to Israel three years ago and served in the IAF as a lone soldier. Shortly after the completion of her service her family returned to Israel. She currently has two siblings serving the IDF and is studying at Bar Ilan University.
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