Giving up is never easy, I know

 The earth was shaken. Eighteen months in Israel had ended. We took our kids and dog and moved back to Seattle. So many people wonder why and how it could be, that we left behind such a beautiful house, which took us to build three years, left the dreams we were able and supposed to fulfill, and just in a bit, took our boys and dog, went on the plane and took the trip back to the other side of the world, leaving behind more or less everything.

The answer is not a simple one (I guess that nothing in life is simple), and this move is far from being easy or simple. We live now back in our house that we were supposed to sell; instead, we are selling the nice house in Tel Aviv.

Our family is in the US now, and again needs to adjust. How do we make this happen again? Slowly… The kids are back in their old schools, for some of them it feels like they never left, some of the kids misses their friends back in Israel, before, they missed their friends here…

Everyday life in Israel is not easy. There were so many times I asked myself how do they do it? How people In Israel do not give up like we did?

There are many aspects that are challenging in Israel. I would like to present some of them to you. This post speaks about hope for life in Israel. In the next posts I will talk about different life aspects, but this post is about life, security and safety, I mean the sense of being safe and secure. Just living simply everyday life, feeling protected, feeling that you start the day and everything will be ok in the evening, every day, just having regular life, regular schedule; this is not so obvious in Israel. There are too many times people are being exposed to unwanted and unexpected circumstances. I guess that this is one of the reasons Israelis tend to be more flexible than average American, they are used to be forced to adjust to life.

I can give many examples, but chose to present a personal one. The south of Israel is being bombed for the last 12 years. People can never predict how their day will look like. We have very close friends, who lives in one of the Moshavim next to Kiryat-Malachi.  They have four kids. This area is being bombed very often; it is so hard to maintain just normal life when you are forced to be exposing your kids to war and cruelty. I think about them a lot. How tough they are! How they will never give up and stay there. I believe that I could have being living there had I not moved to the US and was able to experience life somewhere else. I remember how shocked I was over twenty years ago, the first time I lived abroad. We lived in London for a year, when we were not even married and didn`t have kids. I just could not understand how it can be, that the people are bothered by the weather, and by their plans for the weekends. I came from a place that was complicated, that peace and everyday life were not so obvious. At the beginning, it made me laugh, and think how shallow life was there, and then it hit me: I was the one who is being so weird: Actually, life in Israel is not normal. People should be focusing on their lives. People should be focusing on having fun, on the weather, just simple things and that should be it. But, in a twenty year old mind, my country was the best, my country was worth fighting for, and at the age of twenty I still believed the day peace would come is close. The day that every Israeli would be able to focus on everyday life, and not just how to survive, is very close. I would just need to wait. That day is so close, I could have sensed that.

Over twenty years went by, I am a mother of four boys, that day never seemed farther than what I ever thought it would be. I am ashamed to say the naked truth: I do not have hope anymore for a better future. I believe that what we have is what we are going to get too. Israel would have to fight for its life always. And in that thought in mind, us, Israelis need to rethink about our children`s future, about what we would like for them to have, where is hope for us?

I know that what I am writing is going to bring many comments about hope, and about sacrifying, about “the only way” and about me being selfish. I only have one thing to say in that matter: I love Israel with all my heart and soul, and would always see it as my home, but without hope there is no future.


About Revital Shiri-Horowitz

Author DAUGHTERS OF IRAQ, and HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON (English and Hebrew versions) novels @ immigrant experience to Israel. Experienced speaker to Jewish communities, bk audiences. Luvs her 4 sons/hubby/Havana Silk dogs
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16 Responses to Giving up is never easy, I know

  1. denbatch says:

    I am sure this was not an easy post to write. Welcome back, Revital!

  2. nevet1 says:

    Wow. This will take some time to absorb. Thank you for being so honest and open about such an obviously painful subject and such an intensly personal decision.

  3. Chuck says:

    Actually, you have not given up; you have adjusted your goal. Your ultimate goal may still remain, but who is to say if it is the goal which G_D wants you to have? We have no idea. We must act on faith for best results. Sometimes, our answers come later. We just need to see what they really are.

  4. Thanks Chuck. This is an interesting point of view.

  5. Emma Stern says:

    So you want peace… E.g., it is peace that you want. However, think what will happen to our nation of Israelis after about 100 yrs of peace with millions of arabs around us. Did you think of that? Did you think of what kind of almost Arab Israelis, we’ll then be? War with our Arab neighbors is simply a painful process of our national re-birth. War differentiates us from our neighbors, thus forming us as a unique nation. So cheer up and enjoy your luck, that you’re free to travel back and forth, and thus free to compare. Mike Stern.

  6. Yaniv says:

    sad but true. This is why I think most Isrealis who lives in the US for more than 5 years will never be able to come back:
    Sometimes the children are not happy here (Israel), sometimes when coming back, you see things from another angle, like, how come people cannot be worried about the weather, or how come we pay so much money for political groups, why should my son go to the army when he can live safely somewhere else, etc.

    For me it’s sad for couple of reasons:
    1st, it’s sad, because you’re right: the “good nice future” or the new middle-east is not seen in the close future.
    2nd for us personally it’s sad because we will not see you in the next holidays 🙂
    but also, personally, it makes me think (again): how smart it is for me and my family to be here? we surely have (and had) options to leave.

    On the other hand, if I want to be more optimistic I can also say that
    1st, life is full of surprises (we Israelis know that 🙂 ), so may be, it won’t be so bad all the time.
    2nd – I’m happier here than I used to be when I lived in the US (2 times, once in LA, and the other time in SF).

    To sum up my thoughts, people should enjoy their current life (even though I don’t do it as often as I should) because “Yesterday is History, Tomorrow a Mystery, Today is a Gift, thats why it’s called the Present”.

    So if you’re already in Seattle, just take the car and breathe: (I just love this ad – but it’s not totally unrelated)

  7. Emma Stern says:

    I admire your honesty Revital, but it made me very sad (I had tears in my eyes) to read your article and to hear that you gave up.I still think that we don’t have any choice but to never loose our hope. Emma.

  8. Jackie says:

    I don’t think making a change is ever giving up. The one thing I’ve learned in my life that the only thing we can’t change is ours or anyone else’s passing. Maybe it’s a physical change or just a mental one, but life is not about being stagnant. It’s about doing and living the best way possible. I for one am glad to know you’re back, my friend.

    • Thanks Jackie. I love your point of view. Us, Israelis always feel obligatd to Israel, since it is always stragling. Your life does not come first for many people there, so it is still hard for me to look and my little life and not be there.

  9. Amy says:

    I so appreciate and admire your courage Revital. FInding the words to explain your choices and journey is so important and meaningful. I enjoy reading and pondering what you write. I am very glad your family is back in Seattle.

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