More than a year ago, I asked a friend what it was like living where she lives. She said it's a difficult question, yet came with an answer. Then she asked me the same question: How is it like to live in Israel? For a long time I wondered whether there's an answer or not, and if there is, how to phrase it. Finally, I think I may have my answer.
This week+ is one of the heavily emotional ones. Last Monday was the Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, in which we commemorate the (over) 6 millions of Jews who perished in the Holocaust. Today we observe the Day of Remembrance for Israeli Fallen Soldiers, which is dedicated to remembering the Israeli soldiers who fell during the many wars we've had since before the actual Declaration of Independence and during their service, as well as the victims of the terror attacks, in Israel and abroad. Tomorrow we'll celebrate our Independence Day.
Living in Israel, for me, means living in the Holy Land, the one and only land in which our forefathers lived, the one and only land of which our forefathers dreamt while in exile.
Living in Israel means living history.
Living in Israel means surviving too frequent wars and terror attacks, and going on with life, even when I'm afraid to ride a bus, drive to my best friend's home, or simply be in a city where a rocket can fall anytime (with but a few seconds to find hiding). Jumping when the thunders are too loud, because they shake the place and it reminds a rocket.
Living in Israel means suddenly losing people you know, close relatives and friends, years before they should have died, had they died naturally.
Living in Israel means growing up hoping for a better future, in which our future children won't have to fight, and knowing that our parents wished the same for us.
Living in Israel means knowing we've nowhere else to go.
Living in Israel means living like any other person, having friends, finding love. Hating homework and finals, loving music, TV, movies, parties. Going to the beach every summer (and sometimes in the winter as well).
Living in Israel means having a tiny yet beautiful land, where it's (sometimes) possible to play in the snow and walk in the desert on the same day, where the lowest place in the world is, where one of the northest Reefs exists.
Living in Israel means being mad at corrupted politicians, and being able to replace them (sometimes), for it's a democracy.
Living in Israel means living in a 65-year-old state, which despite being so young is one of the best regarding agriculture, medicine, sciences and high-technology.
Living in Israel means loving this land, the bad things as well as the good ones, and being ready to die protecting it and its people.
Living in Israel means remembering the past, making the best of the present, and hoping for a better future. It means, in other words, simply living.