Thoughts on Israel
There is a lot going on in life right now, but it's not all sorted out in my head yet, so it's not going to make a very compelling blog post. Highest in my thoughts is Israel, also not sorted out, but very prominent. Ezzie sent me an e-mail with a link to the JBlogosphere post that is being constantly updated with links to live-bloggers, aggregators and information on events in support of Israel. Please check it out regularly, as well as the many blogs and news sources that are focused on what is going on in Israel right now. (There's also a nice graphic that could be added to my sidebar, but I am currently lacking the technical know-how to figure it out, though I have recently pickedup the ability to include color in my posts.) As far as the situation in Israel, I have several friends visiting there at the moment, as well as others who live there all the time. The war is scary, extremely scary, but honestly, I feel weird being here, safe(?) in America. Part of me wants to fly to Israel right away, to show my lack of fear, even though I know that there really is nothing I can do there to help. I went to a shiur last night and was speaking to a friend and he emphasized that all we can really do is increase our mitzvot. I guess wherever I am, in America or Israel, he's right. I can daven hard to Hashem, give tzedakah, and increase my mitzvos through many avenues. I'm happy to say that I have been engaging in Torah study as one attempt to do that. One thing I have noticed as a positive offshoot of the situation is Israel is that many Jews seem to be coming together in alliance for their fellow Jews. Yes, there are those splinter groups who do not support Israel defending itself and attempting to ensure the safety of its citizens, but they seem to be few and far between. Much more, I have seen Jews coming together for rallies, saying tehillim, learning Torah and discussing the news in general. To be able to see any good in such a situation makes me proud to be part of this Jewish people. I think it's important for us now to make alliances and become a united group in order to secure the safety of the Jewish nation, for our own future and the future of generations to come. I am constantly checking updates, it's just about the first thing I do in the morning, and the last thing before I fall asleep, with many updates in between. Even though I am not there, I feel it, in my heart and my veins. And I have pride as well as fear for the kids (because they are kids) fighting this battle, as well as all the residents of the communities in Israel who have been targeted. When I was in Israel in January, a friend gave me a necklace. It is a glass tube with five different colors of sand in it - each color of sand from a different region in Israel. Since I returned from that trip, I have been wearing the necklace, though inside my shirt for the most part. The last few days, I have been proudly wearing it so everyone can see it, everyone can see that I hold a little piece of Israel with me wherever I go, at all times. It's part of me. Hashem, please take care of my family in Israel, please let there be peace.