Monday, July 14, 2014

Questions Without Answers

 Day one - a group of twelve strangers are laughing on a bus and asking the person on their left to remind them of their name.  Day two - a group of twelve friends are touring Israel seeing and experiencing things together that will last them a life time. It did not take long for our quirky group of teens from around the world to create something special.  Each personality, each wildly outrageous and inappropriate remark, each honest to god moment, each breakdown, each complaint, and each friendship has helped to create something unlike anything else, honest and true friendships.  I always like to think I know everything there is to know but the truth is I learnt a lifetimes worth of knowledge from my eleven peers over these past three weeks.  I learnt to keep the flame of curiosity and innocence alive, I learnt to inquire, to communicate, to hold my head up high when the goings get rough, I learnt to walk a mile in someone else's shoes, I learnt to question, to live, and to love.

In the past week Israel has become the hottest headline of every news source. Rockets, missiles, death, and destruction are the completely un-peaceful words describing the land that has brought me the most peace of mind I have ever experienced. My personal thoughts on everything that has been happening are plain and simple - I don't know. My experience in Israel has showed me that I don't have to know everything that it is okay to say," I don't know, let me learn."  In this current situation I don't know what to think or how to feel, but I do know that when I go to bed at night scared to hear a siren, scared that my sister who is somewhere in Israel is not safe, something is wrong and it is in my nature to want to try and fix it.

A common question that has been asked in our group is, "is this a war or is this just another round?" Personally when trying to find clarity on the situation at hand I asked myself this same question. To have  a clear cut answer on what is happening would definitely settle my mind because once we know what is happening then we can began to fix it.  I invalidate this question for two reasons. One, I do not believe we can wage a war against a people that do not even have their own army, because then how are we any better than the Nazi party who waged a war against a helpless and trembling people, my ancestors. That being said I am not ignorant to the fact that the people we are waging "war" against are very different from the Jews, and are certainly not helpless when it comes to weaponry and a strong killing spirit. The second reason I believe this question is not valid is because war and  destruction are synonymous. The opposite of war is not peace it is creation, and I refuse to believe that anyone, especially our Jewish state, would purposefully choose to destruct instead of to create.  The second anyone says Israel has entered war what that means to me is that we have hit our self destruct button. War is not progressive, but on the contrary it is depressive. War depresses the lives of millions of people who get caught in the crossfire, and I am confident that Israel does not want that.

Like I said before,  I really don't know what to think. The various speakers that Young Judea had brought in for us to listen to have provided me with a small sense of clarity and perspective but most of all they have confused me further. There are so many things to take into account when forming an opinion on the matters at hand and it is overwhelming and frustrating.  I have tried to sift through all the perspectives and information, and years of history that make the situation today so much more complicated but I keep coming up with only one thought, sometimes things have to fix themselves. I keep looking for a question so that I can find an answer, so that I can fix whatever this is, but what I have learnt from all of this is to keep learning and questioning. That sometimes it's okay not to know, that sometimes there cannot be an answer.

Currently I am sitting in the lobby of Kibbutz Almog, the place we have not left for three days because of rockets and fear. It is the last day of this remarkable journey in Israel, and I am holding back tears while looking at all of our packed bags. In comparison to all of time,  three weeks seems infinitesimal, but the impact these three weeks have had on my life are infinite. I am so thankful for the opportunity to find new friends, find a stronger bond with my old friends, but mostly to find myself. I have not always known who I am but being here with this unique group of people I have found my strongest values, my spiritual side, my nature girl side, and my emotional capabilities. I will forever cherish every moment and memory created in these three weeks and will carry the personal growth and knowledge I have achieved with me wherever life takes me.

Thank you parents, friends, opportunities, life, and god for getting me to where I am today. Thank you.

--Sarah Eylon

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