Lessons of Israel: Life is good until it's not.

I was walking with a friend down Emek Refaim today when I happened to look up and notice the plaque that hangs outside Cafe Hillel, remembering those killed in the bombing there on September 9th 2003.

That bombing in particular hit me hard for several reasons, and that date hasn’t gone by since without me remembering it. On top of being Jewish, Israeli and human, I’ve been given an extreme helping of empathy (maybe that explains the conflict management thing)… I take things to heart for better or worse.

Tonight is horrible for, again, several reasons: the terrorist shooting at a yeshiva across Jerusalem and the accidental death of my hometown rabbi’s father are the two big ones. Sderot and Gaza lend some more reasons. And let’s not forget Times Square.

Today I was planning on posting here how good I have things here in Israel; how I don’t envy friends in New York and how I’ve been so impressed lately with what I’ve achieved here. I was just telling the same friend, from my walk down Emek Refaim, how I’m in constant amazement at how Israeli life has treated me the past few years.

And that’s just when an Israeli gets the kind of reminders I got tonight. I’ve done what I could, as an individual, to build my own little life… But it’s not just me here, it’s a lot of people, all related to me; all afraid, but living, all hopeful, but coping.

It’s more than not taking life for granted. It’s never expecting anything to come too easily, it’s knowing that there’s only so much I can do as an individual.

Whether I like it or not, Israeli me is never alone.