I am stepping SO far outside of my comfort zone by writing this blog post. I am actually feeling a bit nauseous as I sit at my computer tonight.
I am a huge fan of not talking politics or religion in public. Today, as the crisis in Israel continues to escalate, I cannot sit quietly, and since I blog about wellness, I feel that this is an appropriate topic.
I will share with you that I am an observant Jew. I will also share with you that was not always the way I lived my life. I grew up in an average American family that surrounded secular holidays with at least as much hoopla, if not more, than any religious holiday. The fourth of July was a day long affair, which began with packing a cooler, sunscreen and all four of my siblings in the car. We spent hours at the park, eating junk food, playing with friends and awaiting the fireworks. My family was jubilant with “oooooohhhhhs” and “aaaaaahhhhhhhhs” as each colorful delight exploded into the beautiful summer sky. We held flag ceremonies in cemeteries on Memorial Day and had one heck of a barbecue, complete with a live band for Labor Day and family reunions, and any other reason we found to celebrate life.
Life was in fact pretty good, as I grew up in a loving family with parents who loved us unconditionally. We were pretty far removed from any real strife in the world. I do remember one evening at a local carnival with my family when some high school kids were causing trouble and we left very quickly as there were rumors of one of the kids having a gun. That was a “scary” moment of my childhood. I am almost embarrassed to admit that today.
Today the children in southern Israel couldn’t go to school. They couldn’t go outside. They spent their day in bomb shelters, much like the last several days, and nights. Let’s go back even further. These children in southern Israel, in towns like Sderot, have been hiding under their desks for YEARS as rockets rain down on their town. Now, the non-stop launching of rockets into Israel by Hamas has pushed Israel to the point that it must defend its citizens.
Fear, as many a psychologist can tell you, can be a good thing. My dad getting us out of that carnival before a fight could escalate was the product of a little fear and a need to keep his family safe. Fear helps to keep recovering drug addicts and alcoholics from returning to their old vices. Fear of consequences helps us to keep our children from making poor decisions. These are all good fears, and normal fears. These are fears that help us.
The ongoing fear and disruption in the lives of Israeli citizens that is caused by the rockets launched into Israel by Hamas is not good fear. It’s not normal fear. It is not a circumstance that anyone in the world should be forced to live under.
I have read story after story on Israeli news sites that quote reservists who are called up to duty stating that they are proud and happy to serve. They feel that they must protect Israel and the citizens. They don’t speak of fear. They speak of pride and duty. They speak of love and commitment.
I pray for these soldiers. I pray for their families. I pray for the governments who are trying to stop this fighting. I pray for those in our community who have family and friends in Israel now.
I pray for a world where the type of fear that cripples your ability to participate in normal daily activities does not exist.
I pray for a swift end to this crisis.