This question is one I feel the need to address because I keep getting asked. I find that when I talk to Americans about moving to Israel, they immediately jump to safety and the issues of terrorism. “Are you scared?” “Do you feel safe there?” “What about terrorism?” “Will you be in danger in Israel?” “How close are you to Gaza?” These are the things I get asked right off the bat. I understand, people get nervous when someone they care about goes into a new and potentially dangerous situation. But, terrorism unfortunately is not a contained issue that only happens in the middle east…it happens each and every day all around the world. I write this with a heavy heart after the terrorist attack in Manchester and another one following in Egypt. These things happen in the UK, France, America, Egypt and Israel alike. Some might be initiated by ISIS, some by Hamas or Al Qaeda, but they are all the same…and none of them will stop me from living out my dream.
The thing about Israel is that they have been dealing with this issue for a long time and have become quite diligent in handling any kind of attacks. I feel incredibly safe in Israel because they are all very aware. In their daily business, people are watching others around them and are ready to react if they need to. A lot of Israelis carry guns and there is a lot of security. You go through plane like security to get on the train or into some shopping malls. They are vigilant. That is not to say nothing happens in Israel…of course it does, just as it does everywhere else…but in no way do I feel less safe in Israel than I do in America. In fact, I feel more safe. I feel protected and watched over in a way I do not in America. Seeing armed IDF soldiers in uniform on the train, the bus, or in line at the shuk is completely normal (and quite calming). I feel a sense of peace in Israel, which may sound counter-intuitive to those that have only seen the country from the news on their television…but you really have to go to understand the feeling.
As I said in my original post about why I want to move in the first place, Israelis are strong. They don’t let terrorism scare them or deter them from living their fullest lives in the land that G-d gave to them, and I intend to do the same. So, the short answer is no, I am absolutely not scared…and none of you should be either. As far as being nervous about starting my life over from scratch alone in a new country…well that’s a different ball game for a different blog post.
This picture was from the line of smoothie stand in the shuk…a man casually ordering a smoothie with his giant assault rifle (is that even what that is? I dont know guns…). A hilarious (and very common) sight.
Daily Hebrew lesson #3: אנגלית (an-glit) means English. Good to know when you dont speak much Hebrew. מסעדה (ma-sa-dah) means restaurant. I told you most of my words would be food related…and knowing where to get the food is just as important as the food itself. תפריט (ta-frit) means menu. In the same spirit, knowing where to read the options…also vital.
Israeli song #3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94BIxqTYJzU
A few people have reached out and asked about the cover pictures that I choose for my blog…so from now on, I will label each one at the bottom of each blog to tell you where/when I took each picture. Here’s a backtrack of the old ones:
This picture was at Masada (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in the Judean desert at sunrise (June 2016).
This is a piece of Tel Aviv street art (the city is famous for its graffiti) taken near my Airbnb. I walked by it every day and it always brought a smile to my face…and is a good reminder for life (June 2016).
This was from my solo wandering around Jerusalem. To be honest, I just tried to Google search to give a more specific location but I have no idea where it was taken…somewhere between Aroma (had to get my daily Israeli ice coffee) and the Old City, I walked through those palm trees….(January 2017).
This was in Old Jaffa overlooking Tel Aviv city and the beaches (June 2016).
This current picture is a picture of Syria and the Syrian border taken from the Golan Heights in Israel (June 2016).
Happy Shavuot to all and exactly six weeks to go!