Israel’s Unique Hope
August 2, 2012
Being in America for the summer to visit family and Fellowship friends is so wonderful, and there have been many stark reminders that life here in the U.S. is so different from life in the Holy Land. It’s the little things that make Israel so unique, and I’m sadly realizing that much of what defines life in Israel is a byproduct of the terror we have faced for the past 64 years.
In Israel, there is a security guard checking bags at the entrance to every store, restaurant, and building to ensure terrorists and weapons do not enter. After seven years of living in Israel, security checks are something that I have gotten used to. But I’m always reminded that they represent the scary reality that terror can strike anywhere, at any time.
These security checks are so ingrained in my psyche that when I entered a mall in Chicago last week with my best friend, I naturally opened my purse and looked around for a security guard to check my belongings. But there was no security guard in sight. “In America, we enter stores without fear of terror attacks,” my friend reminded me. “Wow, thank God,” I replied, and I meant it with all of my heart. “Land of the free, home of the brave,” was the phrase that repeated in my head and suddenly those words held a deep meaning.
Despite the routines of daily life that are affected by the threat of terror in Israel time-consuming bag checks at the entrance to stores, traffic being halted while the army identifies a suspicious object left on the side of the road, or sending our husbands to an army refresher course for one month each year the Israeli people do not let anything extinguish our hope of eventually living in peace. Every day we beg God to send the peaceful times that our prophets envisioned, when “the wolf will live with the lamb” (Isaiah 11:6).
When I visited Texas last week, I realized that, despite the huge percentage of Spanish-speaking residents, the street signs were only written in English. It suddenly gave me a new appreciation, that in Israel the street signs are all written in Hebrew, English, and Arabic. Despite the terror that we face from our Arab neighbors, the Israeli people take unprecedented steps toward building a lasting trust and peace, which I believe is God’s will. “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).
As I say my prayers each morning, I beg God to continue blessing America with peace and freedom. Although I am immensely enjoying my time here in the great U.S., it is still crystal clear to me that Israel is my true home, and I yearn for the day when all Jews can enjoy a true and lasting peace in their homeland.