Anonymous (sorry, I love your comment, but don't know your name), left this comment yesterday: "my god. why would anyone want to live in such a country?"
Please allow me to explain.
There are several questions here built into one. You ask "why would anyone want to live in such a country?"
Years ago, someone asked me a similar question - or I'd like to think a question born out of a similar sense of curiosity. I answered it in a post called "What's it actually like in Israel?" I could copy and paste the whole post, but I'll ask you to click and read it. I'll just put a bit of it here because it is important:
Israel is the most amazing country - strong because it has to be, caring because that's what we are. Our emergency teams have flown around the world, at a moment's notice. We have pulled survivors from earthquake-destroyed buildings, we have rescued survivors from the great tsunami a few years ago. And, because of all that we have suffered here, we have become world experts in identification and handling of dead bodies - giving them the honor and respect they were denied in death.
Israel stands for Jews around the world, so no where can a country attack its Jewish citizens without knowing Israel will respond. We have gathered our people from Yemen and Ethiopia and Russia, even under fire. And today, quietly while the world does little to stop the suffering in Darfur, Sudanese refugees know that if they can somehow get past the Egyptians (who have beaten them and shot them), these Moslem refugees may actually find shelter in Israel.
We welcomed the boat people from Vietnam, some of whom still live here, when the world debated and wondered. We stand, even if we stand alone, against Iran because we know what till happen if Iran goes nuclear.
And yes, we put our sons on the borders of our country and ask them to sacrifice three years of their lives defending our land at a time when they too would prefer to get on with their lives, have fun with their friends, go to bars, and do nothing that has anything to do with wearing a uniform and carrying a gun.
What is it actually like in Israel? A lot of times, it is like living in heaven here on earth - waking to the beauty of this land and simply thanking God that today, yet again, you were lucky enough to awaken here.Why would anyone want to live in such a country? The answer is that I could never live anywhere else. Yes, my daughter has been traumatized by a brutal murder by men who come from a culture that is so foreign to what we hold dear. I do not understand how or why someone could slit the throat of an infant, stab a young child in the heart. I do not understand...and I hope I never will.
But I will not surrender the beauty of living here because that would be so much worse. I will not surrender to their terror and my daughter will learn - with love and patience, that we can protect her, that all is in the hands of God, that she belongs here in the land of her birth.
Why would anyone want to live in such a country? I would ask how anyone could or would choose to live anywhere else. I am so blessed to live in this land. To breathe this air, to touch and be touched by all that happens here. I work in Jerusalem - can you imagine that? To be there almost every day of my life, to see the ancient stones and know, day by day, that this is the gift God has given to me and to my children.
Nothing is free in life, not the houses we live in, not the air we breathe. We pay for it all. Sometimes the price is heartbreaking; I can't argue that but the joy of living here every day outshines everything.
And I'll close with what I ended the last article with last time:
May God bless the land and the people of Israel with health, with happiness, with prosperity, and yes, with peace so that the day will come when our sons won't have to go to war and those living outside of our country will come without fear and find out what Israel is actually like.And add one more - May the day come when our children no longer live in fear, when our neighbors do not worship death and practice barbaric crimes in the name of some religion that cannot have come from any true and just God.