I’m sitting next to a terrorist

A few days ago, a Palestinian terrorist boarded a bus in Jerusalem and set off a bomb. This man was trying to kill innocent people on their way to work, home, or the store. By the grace of g-d, no one was killed, but 21 people were injured in the attack.

So why am I blogging about this attack?

Jerusalem Bus Bombing

Firefighters look on as two buses burn in Jerusalem. Police launched an investigation into the incident, April 18, 2016. (Israel Police)

Well, I’m currently in a hospital ICU with one of my group participants. Two rooms down from his, is the terrorist the bombed the bus on Monday and two more rooms away is another terrorist. The second guy is the one that stabbed an off duty soldier in Rami Levi grocery store about a month ago. I have a strange feeling inside that I can’t exactly explain…I’ve seen their faces, I’m just feet away from two very dangerous terrorists that tried to kill innocent Israelis. There are soldiers, border patrol, and cops around so I feel safe, but I still have a very strange feeling.

I do know what I think about the whole situation though. What I see is amazing and probably very surprising for most people. There are Jewish Israeli doctors and nurses treating them both, the same doctors and nurses treating my participant. One of them almost died this morning, the staff rushed in and revived him. Yes, they treated him like any other patient. This is the most upclose proof that I live and belong to one of the most moral countries in the world. What is happening in this hospital happens all the time. Why? Because at the end of the day, we are all the same, human beings. Yes, I hope that these terrorists never see the light of day and that they are fully punished for what they have done. And I know that will happen, because I life in a democracy.

Israel is the Jewish State, but it is also a democracy. We have separation of powers, rights for all, and a just legal system. If these terrorists live, then they will have their day in court. To all the people that believe that Israel is an apartheid state or something other than a democracy, I say come to an Israeli Hospital. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Israelis, Palestinians, Tourists, and Terrorists are being treated. The doctors are  Jewish and Arab, all working together to save lives. How beautiful? How crazy?

I don’t know how I feel, but I do know how I think. I know that we as Jews and Israelis, care about life.

Am Yisroel Chai! Love live the Jewish State and People!

7:00pm Update: The terrorist has died. 

As soon as he died and was taken out. The room felt as something dark and heavy left. No words… Sad that this guy was only 19 years old, the same as my participant in the next room over. Not sad that he died, but that he has been manipulated to hate. Read More… The world needs to stand up against Hamas.


I Moved to Jerusalem, the Holiest City in the World!

It’s a New Year (5776) and I got a new job.

I’m coming up on finishing my MA from the University of Haifa and I’ve moved to Jerusalem. The last month has been a crazy whirlwind of changes. I finished my job with Onward Israel in August and went back to the US for a quick trip. My trip had to be very quick because the day before I left I got a job in Jerusalem.

What’s the New Job?

I got extremely lucky one night surfing facebook and saw a post in the Lone Soldier’s facebook group. It was for a Madrich job on Nativ: The College Leadership Program in Israel. In just a few days I got the job. So for the next nine months I’m going to be living and working with American’s on a gap year program. It’s a really fantastic program for Jewish youth to take a year in between High School and College. The first five months we are in Jerusalem and then I’ll be moving with half the group to Kfar Hasidim Youth Village (near Haifa). In the first semester the participants are learning at Hebrew University, Hebrew Ulpan, or Yeshiva. The second semester they all will be volunteering in different positions in the Kfar. Most of the participants come from the Conservative youth movements like Ramah and USY.

My experience so far has been very positive, as the group is full of really amazing participants and staff. I felt out a place for the first few weeks as I had a limited knowledge of Conservative Judaism. Quickly though I am coming to learn more and more about this “stream” of Judaism. I do find the environment comfortable though as the program is observant. Everything is Kosher, Shabbat is kept, and have prayers every day. Soon I hope to have a better understanding of the theology of Conservative Judaism.

The position I have though is the best part. I’ve always made it a goal in life to work directly with people and that’s exactly what I’m doing, though I’m the oldest Nativ Madrich ever. Its funny because I don’t feel that old, just my young soul 😉
I spend almost my whole day with the participants and get to plan lots of educational programs. So I’m doing what I love, showing the land of Israel to Jewish youth, our future leaders.

Other Updates

A quick update of the others parts of my life.

  1. I really need to find time/motivation to finish all my MA research papers.
  2. Kfar Olim (read previous post) is still in the works and I’m starting to take on more of an active roll. The project is moving along and we are looking for more people to get involved. Let me know if you want to know more….
    1. If you have some graphic design experience we could use some pro bono help

Well that’s it for now 🙂 Shana Tova and Gmar Hativat Tova

שנה טובה וגמר חתיבה טובה