This I Believe

Aliya - Sioux City, Iowa
Entered on August 3, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: hope, peace

I believe that there will be peace in the Middle East within my lifetime. I have too, or else my heart and my soul would ache. As a young Jew in the United States, or anywhere, as someone who has a strong connection to Israel and to my faith, I must in believe this in order to function. How do I reconcile my passion for my homeland, my eretz with my liberal tendencies? I am pro-choice, pro-eco friendly, pro-gay marriage, generally pro-Democrat. The media and my friends tell me how wrong it is; the fact that Israel went into Lebanon to attack Hezzbullah. I am indoctrinated to think it was bad. But I am also swayed by my religion, my culture, and myself that Israel was just defending itself. Israel was just protecting its people.

I think it was Rashi who said, “Libi b’mizrach,” my heart is in the East. I agree. My physical body is here, (in Iowa for the summer, back to Colorado for the school year) but until last week one of my good friends was there. My heart is always there. I have friends in Tzahal or just out, older friends who are reservists, who are getting called up. And it scares me. My heart is in the East, but I cannot decide who is wrong.

So I place the blame on everyone, including myself. Going into Lebanon, compromising their sovereignty, to fight guerillas is wrong. But so is saying that it is ok, just for a little while; and so is saying it is not ok to defend your own people; and so is abducting soldiers; and so is firing rockets into major cities; and so is bombing airports, and so is killing innocent people;…

Many things are wrong with the world right now. I am not sure how to fix any of it. All I can do is advocate for humanity and humility, try to get people to see all sides of the issue, and keep believing that someday soon it will be over. I believe that in the near future, “people will beat their swords into plow shears, and no one will practice war anymore.” This I believe.