Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Little Something About Being Israeli

A co-worker just asked me what I would do if a missile hit my house and crashed through the roof. "You still have your American citizenship, right?" he asked.

Yes, I do, but ... so what?

My daughter Ariella, aged 18 is in Sderot right now, a town that's getting hit with missiles daily. She is volunteering to do childcare, cleaning, and rebuilding. She's been there a few days already, and this is not her first time, either. During the last war with Lebanon, she headed straight up to Nahariah and Haifa to do the same for the kids in the bomb shelters.

She's like a tornado chaser, except she chases bombs. She doesn't stand on the roof defiantly with her fist in the air. She just goes where she is needed and does what she needs to do. She'll be going into the army in July, where she intends her service to be training soldiers from disadvantaged homes.

My son Eitan, aged 17, is going to help her today for a few days.

In our army, the first one over the hill is not the soldiers, it's the commanders.

And let's not forget the Virginia Tech shooting, where everyone ran for cover except one Israeli professor, Liviu Librescu, who barred the door with his body and died while his students escaped to safety.

I'm sure there are plenty of Americans like him, and plenty of people in every country around the world like them.

But it's a little something about what it means to be Israeli.

No, I won't be going back to America if a missile falls through my roof.


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