Friday, July 11, 2014

An Email to a Friend

The following is the text of an email that I sent to my friend Aviva yesterday. It's a very pure expression of my feelings towards the violence and tension in Israel right now. I hope that the IDF is successful and efficient, so that for my sake and for the sakes of my friends and family in the States, the conflict ends soon and relative peace returns to Israel.

Dear Aviva:

I'm not gonna lie. I miss you like crazy, and I'm scared.

Since the IDF Operation started, over 365 rockets have been fired into Israel. There was an alarm at the Kibbutz where I'm staying. We were in Jerusalem today, and rockets were fired at the city literally minutes after we left. Some were aimed at the Knesset building, which we visited this morning. My friends and I could have been hit, and honestly, it was a miracle that we were as safe as we ended up being.

Right now, there are 10,000 IDF troops in Gaza, and 40,000 reserves ready to be deployed. A lot of my friends have older siblings in the IDF right now. My cousin just finished his army service a few months ago, and he's still living in Israel, so he could be called to fight any minute. As closely connected as we are to Israel, military conflicts are never scary until someone you truly care about is risking their life. It's not even that they're trying to save Israel, they're fighting to keep me safe. Me. Personally. And that's terrifying as hell.

I've never been homesick before. But the fact that I've been away from everyone for so long is really getting to me. I know that you guys are all worried about me, and that gets me worried, because you can't always get in touch with me to make sure that I'm safe. I just want to be able to see you and talk to you in person, partially because I'm selfish and want comfort, but mostly because I miss you. I want to be able to share my summer with you, both the exciting and the frightening parts. Honestly, I'm not sure how to deal with my fear and anxiety without constantly having you there.

All of the people who are in charge of the trip try to tell our group that everything is under control, and that all of the alarm is just precautionary. I really do appreciate their efforts to comfort us. Deep down, I know that they're probably right, but it just makes me more scared. Things must be really bad if they have to solace and reassure a group of high schoolers.

I really don't mean to scare you. I just need to talk about the fear and homesickness that I'm feeling, because I've never experienced it before. I miss you. I wish that you could be here with me, but I can't wait to go home and be with you.

Give everyone my best, and I'll see you soon.
- Kim

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