Israel Post - Itamar

I was going to write about the first day of my second trip to Israel last summer.  Riding in a an armored van  (there are not that many armored vans available in Israel and this was definitely not the first class ride.  Have you ever been in an armored van?  2 small windows as thick as ice cubes and about as transparent.  Doors the weight of cement....)  Up into Judea & Sumaria, then past the Itamar check point we almost didn't get through.  Up the road and down the steps, and there was Leah alone cutting up mangoes.  Leah insisted we eat.  She opened her curtains onto the view of the Mountains of the Blessings and the Curses.  Leah's heart was so big.  We looked out through her eyes and saw beauty we couldn't see on our own.

I was going to write about all of this.  Tell you about the Fogel family tragedy, then show you the organic farm up the road that felt right out of a Lartique photograph or Sunday in the Park.   Show you how these people balance light and dark and are fearless.

Then I got news last night of destruction.  You can read it here.   It is impossible to reconcile Israel.  Impossible to understand.  Yet, in the midst of this land that tests your soul - there is light.   After descriptions of homes being bulldozed, torahs being confiscated came these emails from Leah:

When are you coming for avocados! We miss you and hope that when you DO come it will be to film only happy events- Israel is a place where you are tested, humbled, and talk a lot to G-d. Remember, the biggest mitzvah is to be happy always (no matter what!)

and this:

George- it can make you sick – But its shabbat soon and tomorrow afternoon- we're going to play scrabble! It's a miracle in itself that I get these gorgeous mountains in my face as it is!

and this:

Nothing comes for free in this world, you have to pay with action- and the torah was actually meant to be brought into practice. That's what living in the heart of Israel is all about. You see the mountains of the Blessing and the Curse and you know you can do anything because the Creator of World gave you this life to, to be blessed.