My Heart Is In The East And I'm In The Midwest

The nature of human beings is to find a safe place – ensure economic security, emotional safety and physical safety.
By nature, we describe a place where we feel safe by words such as warmth, joy, peace – a place we call home.
But now my feelings are contrary to human nature; I find myself wanting to go towards the danger, to my home, to Israel.
It all started last Thursday morning. As I read the news from Israel about the assassination of an arch-terrorist by the IDF, I felt that the status quo had broken. To tell the truth, this is not a new reality. It is the fine line and balance of fear in which we live. Every event and every day may develop into a new reality. Needless to say, the rest of my day was not as planned and was filled with pouring over the news and updates from family and friends.
Later in the day, my older brother Uri was called for reserve duty, along with many Israelis, he left his job and he began a new reality.
I hope and pray that the just announced cease-fire takes hold. Unfortunately for citizens living in the south, the barrage of rockets and missiles has never stopped and has been ongoing for more than a decade. Since Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, reality only worsened. They suffer from daily attacks by missiles launched by Hamas.
Those Israelis are trained to find a safe hiding place once they hear the warning siren. They have 15 seconds after hearing the alarm to go to a protected area no matter where they are at the time. 15 seconds is not always enough to go to the shelter or get into the nursery. Over a million people have learned to appreciate every second!
Israeli citizens are trained for emergency situations, but we never get used to — we refuse to get used to — the new reality and always look forward to and hope to have quiet. Last week the rules changed and a million civilians in danger joined a million more. The fear of this new reality is that we don’t know when it will be over and it could become the norm.
For so much of our history, the Jewish people were forced to move from place to place to find a better future. This is not an option for Israelis. We must stay and defend ourselves, our home.
Even though there is a cease-fire, the people of Israel need our support—both in prayers and in active help reminding people that Israel has the right to protect its civilians.
Show them you are with them in action and in heart. Join the rally at noon on Tuesday at the University of Minnesota at Coffman. If you can’t come, gather friends and family, all wear red, take a picture and put it up you’re Facebook . Why red? Code red sirens tell the residents of Sderot and southern Israel that they have 15 seconds to get to the shelter.
I’m asking you all to talk, share, and let everyone know what really happens in the Middle East. A reality where so many kids can’t play outside, people can’t work, and old people need to be rushed to safe locations constantly. Let’s show the world that our community stands with Israel.
This is a guest post by Roni Levin, St. Paul shlicha (Israeli emissary to St. Paul on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul).