I am listening to the radio. A woman is on. She is talking about life. About gratitude. About unity.
She is saying how we are all family. She is reiterating the need to act as one nation. To help one another. To reach out to one another. To connect with kindness.
She is interrupted.
AZ’AKA (alarm) Tel Aviv.
AZ’AKA – Ramat Gan.
AZ’AKA – Bnei Brak.
She is back on. She talks more. About love. About family. About what’s important.
There is a catch in her throat. She wants to cry. I want to cry.
Instead, she talks and I listen; waiting for another interruption that will tell me where my brothers and sisters are running for cover and will warn me, if need be, to join them.
AZ’AKA – Ashkelon.
AZ’AKA – Ashdod.
AZ’AKA – Sderot.
The next segment is coming on. I lean a bit closer, straining to hear the sound of normal as an advertisement is played. There are no interruptions for another twenty minutes.
I hang my laundry slowly, cautiously, as the radio drones on inside and jets fly overhead on their way to protect me.
This is war.
This is terror.
This is the life I am forced to live.
This is the sound of a nation held hostage
Because there are people who hate the right I have to say:
This is Israel.
But I say it.
THIS IS ISRAEL.
And the wails I hear are the same sounds
As the sirens I stand up for
When we are reminded
Three times a year,
one time in honor of those who died before we existed to fight for them,
one time in honor of those who died because we fought,
and one time in honor of the State we pick up arms for,