Thursday, April 28, 2011

Such Is My Land (by Exiled Warrior)

Ruti E just posted this piece on her blog. Her son wrote it. To describe my feelings whilst reading it would detract from it. I add not. Suffice it to say I am deeply proud to have this published on my blog.

It’s 11:30 in the morning. I am standing on the sunny streets of Jerusalem in a crowd of Jews. We all have a similar goal; we want to enter or at least pass the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. But we are blocked. Police have fenced off the area. I have lived here for a while and so instantly I know what’s going on. There has been a call to the police of a “Chafetz Chashud” or literally suspicious item. In most cases it’s a deserted bag that at least in this country, is very possibly a bomb.

So there I am, surrounded by curious tourists, slightly annoyed taxi drivers and nearly another hundred people. We stand waiting, hoping to soon be able to continue our day. We watch the man with the helmet walk courageously towards the bag. He is covered in some type of protective gear that I imagine would do very little in a close proximity explosion. Yet he alone, walks confidently over to the suspicious bag, ready to defuse the deadly weapon if needed. We all wait, wondering. Is it bomb? Will it go off? Is the man with the helmet going to be alive in the next few minutes? I watch as some Israelis, who clearly have wondered enough, try sneaking past the police in order to get on with what they were doing. They are stopped, and still we wait.

Thankfully, it is a false alarm, and just like that, the “hustle and bustle” of daily life continues.

The whole deal lasted about fifteen minutes. People missed their buses. Some came late to appointments. Life stopped temporarily because someone may have put a bag filled with explosives with the intention of spilling Jewish blood.

Such is the Land in which I live.

I live in a Land that we must go through metal-detectors to enter most malls, groceries, theaters, and of course any government buildings. I must pass through a checkpoint on the road going to my little settlement. Threats by my enemies to destroy my Land are heard every day. Many of my people have been slaughtered by enemies who are living in our midst. Bombs have been detonated, rockets have fallen, guns have been fired, and we are forced to live with the painful reality that some of the people who you see one day may be killed the next.

I live in a Land that is condemned by the world media. Even right now, there are many who believe where I am living is the “obstacle of peace” and I should leave. My Land is under constant pressure from the U.N. and the West.

I live in a Land that it is not uncommon to come home to my weeping mother who says pain-stricken: “We lost another Jew today.” As she utters these words I am forced once again to ride the “emotional rollercoaster.”

First, I will feel pain. Pain for the loss of yet another Jew; then there is rage mixed with hatred almost uncontrollable. I’ll try and cry but instead just punch the wall and curse the terrorists. Sometimes it can destroy my day and sometimes you just take it in like a weather report.

I’ll hate myself for not feeling the pain. How can I laugh at a time while the blood of the murdered is still wet? Yet, here I am smiling as if nothing has happened. I’ll wonder if I have become completely callus unable to feel anymore sorrow. I will become sickened by my feelings of apathy.

Then there are the rare times where they get inside of me. I’ll become filled with fear as the lights go out. I will lay in the dark, fists clenched, attentive to every sound. I’ll say the Shema with extra concentration, asking G-d to protect me even though I’m undeserving. I’ll try to convince myself that it won’t be me next, only to realize that the holy victims more than likely thought that too.

Such is the Land in which I live.

I live in a Land where sweet young fathers walk around with a gun at all times because the threat of an attack on their family is all too real. Parents warn their kids about hitch-hiking for the enemy has been known to dress up like a Jew in order to kid-nap one.

Our enemies rejoice when we are murdered. We can hear them when they dance over the deaths of Jews. We can smell the smoke as they burn our flag. I live completely surrounded by a bloodthirsty enemy who will give the lives of their entire family to kill a Jew. There have been nights I have heard a sound and leaped out of bed and grabbed the closest weapon available.

Such is the Land in which I live.

My Land is Eretz Yisrael and I will never leave. I live with a constant threat of death and it only makes me stronger. They will never break me. For 2000 years I was kept from feeling her soil beneath my feet. For 2000 years I couldn’t taste her air. I couldn’t swim in the Kineret, hike her beautiful hills, and see the sun set over her beaches. For 2000 years I wandered. Now, I have returned and my love for this Land is far greater than the enemies’ hatred for me and my people.

I am overjoyed to be living where my forefathers walked. I am excited to protect her borders from our enemies. I am proud to know that I am a living protest to all the anti-Semitism throughout history. I am strengthened by the many others who marched fearlessly into battle sometimes sacrificing their lives to defend this Land.

Most of all however, I am happy to know that when my grandchildren ask me if I was one of the Jews who came to this Land before it was safe, when there were people dying, when others were too afraid to come, I will be able to tell them: Yes. When they ask if I helped build the country and protected her I will be able to say: Yes.

I will tell my grandchildren stories of the courageous Jews who stayed here throughout time and fought for our homeland. I will tell them of Yonatan Netanyahu and of Roi Klein. I will tell of the simple Jews who after burying their murdered brothers and sisters would only strengthen their faith. I will tell them of the children who decided to continue to dwell in this Land even after their parents were slain. I will tell them about all the heroic Jews both in and out of uniform who, in the face danger, screamed “Am Yisrael Chai!”

I will know as they listen that they will also be proud of me…

Such is the Land in which I live.

1 comment:

rutimizrachi said...

Have I told you lately that I like you?