Are you still going to Israel?
Aren’t you afraid to go to Israel with everything that is going on?
Are you cancelling your trip?
The questions kept coming and coming, but my answer was always the same. I am still going.
Ron and I have been to Israel before during difficult times without hesitation. How can we not go? It is our Home. It is the Promise Land. Not going would be a slap in the face to our brothers and sisters who day in and day out pray for quiet; just to be able to live their lives. Not going would be a contribution to our opponents getting what they want, which is for us to suffer as they are trying to obliterate us.
I could not wait to go on the plane. I was so excited that Ron was able to go with me this time because our youngest son and family made aliyah last July. Last year when I went on the Mofet Leadership Program, Ron did not join me. I felt so bad that he could not come Home with me.
When I get off the plane in Tel Aviv, I could breath. I can’t explain it. I can just breath. Yes, we had some cell phone complications, so traveling in our rental car to Maalot Tarshiha was a little nerve racking, even with an antiquated GPS; but I can still breath.
Our son, family, Ron and I went to Rosh haNikra, Tel Dan, and other places. We experienced, somewhat, life in Maalot. Ron and I listened to our grandchildren switch quickly from English to Hebrew when a friend came over. I listened to my son use Hebrew. I got to use my Hebrew, even some I have never used before.
During our visit I spoke with a friend of mine who spends her summers in one of my favorite places, Fuchsberg Yeshiva. She shared with me that this summer has been a very emotional summer in so many ways. As far as I know, she has had to look for shelter 4 times in Jerusalem due to rocket fire. Her family in Tel Aviv did not want her to visit because G-d forbid, something would happen while being en-route to and from. My friend had to wait several weeks before she saw them.
When we settled into our son’s apartment, my husband downloaded the Red Alert App which tells people when the sirens are going off and where. It helped keep us abreast as to what is going on and where. Although we were not running for shelters (by the way, our oldest grandson’s bedroom is a bomb shelter), my heart would skip a beat whenever the phone would go off.
The last day, our daughter-in-law drove us to Nahariya, to the train station. Ron and I spent the day alone in Tel Aviv to take in the Mediterranean and walk around. We had a lovely time. On the way to the airport, 2:30 AM, the sirens went off while we were in the cab. We saw people pulling over and ducking between the cars and the highway walls. The cab driver asked Ron and I if we wanted to pull over. I told him he is the expert, I trust you know what to do. He did pull over, but felt the bomb was not going to effect us; therefore, we continued on.
I was not afraid. I was very surprised at myself. I had faith in G-d, the IDF, and felt no fear. The emotions I felt was more sadness, anger, and that I am about to abandon my Home and my people. I have been at my Florida home since Tuesday evening and I still feel like I abandoned my Homeland. My friend at Fuchsberg and I were texting back and forth and she said the same thing. She is having difficulty with coming back to Florida because she feels the same way.
As I said previously, I feel I can breath when I am Home, even with everything that is going on. I asked my daughter-in-law when we were alone how she felt. She said except for the transition and some bureaucracy, she feels like she can breath.
People ask me why I don’t make Aliyah. Our oldest son and family lives 8 minutes from us and does not want to move to Israel. This is very difficult for me. If they went, I would go immediately. I know Ron wants to. I believe I will make the move one day.
Right now, I believe my job is to teach about Israel with my students, and anybody I can. Keep doing what I am doing as an educator and get people excited about being Jewish.
I need to keep praying everyday for our Homeland, for everyone’s safety and pray that eventually there will be quiet so we can live our lives.