Living in Faith – Not Fear

Yael Eckstein  |  June 26, 2024

Nov 30 2023 at Moshav Netiv HaAsara, a moshav (cooperative Israeli community) in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council,
(Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)

Tonight was my niece’s bat mitzvah. And let me explain to you how celebrations work in Israel these days.

As we counted down the days until her bat mitzvah, we didn’t know if the party would actually happen or not.

War with Hezbollah? Rockets from Hamas? Iran attacking? There are so many possibilities that could transform a happy occasion into a huge disappointment and disaster.

So as my family was finally dressed and going to the car, we were giddy with joy. The bat mitzvah was ACTUALLY going to happen.

My two nieces who are in the army were released for the night to be able to be there.

My nephew who flew in from America didn’t see his flight canceled because of rockets. He made it to Israel!

As nearly everyone at the party had kids in the army or were in active duty themselves, we prayed as we danced, and we thanked God for the moments of joy.

That’s the secret of the Jewish people.

We survived Amalek, Haman, the Nazis, and inquisitions – and neither our faith nor our joy has been taken from us.

That’s true freedom.

Here in Israel, we live moment to moment. We are always ready to run to the bomb shelter, and everyone between the ages of 18 and 50 is always ready to be deployed and protect the borders of this holy land.

But we don’t live in fear. We live in faith.

Am Yisrael Chai!