web analytics
August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Putting My Body Where My Mouth Is


Last week I felt the whisper of a “close call” on my skin.

Four Jews – two men and two women, one of whom was nine months pregnant – were shot to death in a terrorist attack on Highway 60, just as darkness fell upon the junction near the village of Bani Nayim.

For those who don’t know it, the road there is at its widest; it is beautifully paved, wonderfully illuminated, one of the finest pieces of roadway along the entire route.

A somewhat isolated stretch, the Bani Nayim junction is located between Kiryat Arba/Hebron, and the small Jewish community of Penei Hever. The village of Bani Nayim is home to the tomb of Lot, ancestor of both Jews and Muslims.

The road to the village also connects through to the back roads that lead down to the Dead Sea, and then far beyond eventually to Jericho, today controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

With the advent of “goodwill gestures” and “security concessions” in order to bolster the regime of Fatah leader and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, roadblocks that otherwise might have stymied the terrorists last week have long since been removed, vastly increasing the road’s accessibility to all, including murderers of Jews.

Highway 60 is a main artery to the heartbeat of Israel, Jerusalem – winding through Judea connecting Israel’s south with the central region and the north. It is a connecting highway between Route 31, which leads to Arad and Be’er Sheva, and the capital region, passing through more than a dozen Jewish communities along the way, among them the holy city of Hebron.

For residents of Arad, tucked into the northeasternmost corner of the Negev, especially, it is an essential route to Jerusalem, cutting travel time to the capital nearly in half, a mere 90 minutes on most days.

Arad residents who choose to drive the “safe” route via Latrun often face a mammoth traffic snarl on Route 1, and a drive of two and a half to three hours. The approach to Jerusalem is from the opposite end of the city, further complicating matters.

For those who decide to take the “scenic” route, and drive along the Dead Sea, it is just as long, albeit not as frustrating, and far more beautiful. But that route, too, is not without its dangers: the road is equally isolated in parts, and passes at least one junction leading to Jericho. As with the Latrun route, the approach to Jerusalem is from a completely different direction than that taken with Highway 60.

For me, a person who drives regularly on Highway 60, last week’s attack refreshes a dilemma: should I, a wife and mother of children, now take the “safe” route when I get into the car to drive to Jerusalem?

This is not a new question.

I faced the same struggle in June, when an Israeli police officer was murdered on Highway 60, along the same stretch of road I had hurriedly zoomed along, unawares, a scant few hours later. When I reached my destination and heard the news that day my blood ran cold, realizing how narrowly I had missed the encounter.

Several months prior, I had not been as lucky, although my prayer book protected me on that day: a rock the size of a grapefruit was hurled at the car as I drove past Beit Omar, an Arab village near Hebron.

The sharp-edged missile bounced off the windshield as if it had been repelled by an unseen force: it had struck the glass directly opposite the spot where my chitas (Chumash, Tanya, Tehillim, Siddur) stood sentinel. A faint scratch was the only evidence that remained.

Still, the experience shook me, and it took several days to recover. Reciting the gomel blessing at synagogue helped restore my equilibrium, and my resolve to continue to drive on the road.

And now this.

“Change your route,” my husband urged. “You’re not driving that road anymore.” I know plenty of Jews – and Bedouin friends, for that matter – who have already come to that conclusion.

But it’s not that simple for me, and we talked late into the night about whether in fact that should be the response, because I believe giving up one road does not ensure the security of another.

Nor do I believe I have the right to abandon my fellow Jews. What of the residents of Judea, of the communities in the Hebron Hills? Of Gush Etzion? They have no choice in the matter – this is the only access road available to them.

The less Jewish traffic on Highway 60, the less obligated our government will feel to protect it, and the more emboldened the terrorists will be to attack residents in the area. And it won’t stop there, because the next target will be Arad, just over the ridge from Yatir, about 15 minutes away.

It is normal to be apprehensive and take precautions, and only someone without any common sense at all would feel no fear. For months, I have traveled wearing a large pair of plastic sunglasses over my regular eyeglasses, and when I pass Arab villages in which there have been past reports of rock attacks, I often flip down the sun visors along the windshield. I keep the windows rolled up as well.

Small acts, obviously useless in the face of bullets. But helpful with rocks, at least, and it makes me feel a bit safer on the road.

At some point, one has to put one’s body where one’s mouth is, even if it means your heart travels up to your mouth. I will not let terrorists decide where I live, or where I travel. I will not abandon my fellow Jews.

Hana Levi Julian, MSW, LCSW-R, is a coach and psychotherapist specializing in ADHD and trauma. She lives in Arad and maintains a private practice in Jerusalem.

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian began her career in journalism out of boredom while earning a BA in Mass Communication, creating a news department at SCSU's radio station because all the disc jockey positions were filled. In addition to her former position as a Jewish Press columnist and senior correspondent and editor at Arutz-7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and numerous other media outlets.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Putting My Body Where My Mouth Is”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The Gaza Region
Live Updates: Hamas Rockets Explode in Southern Israel (15:52pm)
Latest Indepth Stories
Mowing the lawn

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

Digital StillCamera

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

Bosch-Fawstin-They-Say-We-Say

(Reposted with permission from author’s website) Moderate truth-teller Daniel Pipes (Dream) has further moderated his stance on Islam by actually entertaining the idea of “Moderate Islamism”, with Andrew C. McCarthy- whom I’ve debated about this- giving it some credence. We’ve gone from Naming the Enemy -Nazism, Communism- to Renaming the Enemy – “Islamic Totalitarianism”, “Radical Islam”, “Islamism”, […]

Light up the world copy

Maimonides: “Your 1 mitzva may tip the scales and bring redemption to the entire world and creation”

Jerusalem has been aware of the importance of China to its growth and security.

In other words, how by any rational playbook can one even begin to explain anti-Semitism?

Israel has nine Iron Domes, but you Mr. Hannity are the tenth.

Entire movements within “orthodoxy” propagate a Judaism of outlandish folklore and Jewish mysticism

The Rebbetzin began campaigning to increase public awareness of the importance of saying Amen.

Obama is transparent, if you read his oracular signs with the right key.

Everything I imbibe is with my inimitable fervor for being Jewish.

The multiculturalism that animates the hate-Israel crowd is sprinkled with code words of oppression

All the tactical problems have solutions. The real problem is not with the enemy; it is with us.

Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that “quiet will be met with quiet.”

The UN ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel.

Haredim possess strong feelings of kinship and belonging, desiring to contribute to Israeli society.

More Articles from Hana Levi Julian
Ashkelon home damaged in missile attack from Gaza on the eighth day of Operation Protective Edge, in July 2014. (archive)

Another miracle for the Jews in Israel — this time in Ashkelon, where a missile exploded directly on a house but hurt no one.

IAF fighter jet heads back to  Gaza.

Israeli pilots attacked a terror cell in Zeitoun, Gaza on Wednesday morning. One terrorist was killed and five were injured.

Fatah launched a diplomatic assault as Hamas terrorists renewed a military assault against the Jewish State late Tuesday.

Gaza terrorists returned to ‘business as usual’ launching rocket and missile barrages against Israel late Tuesday afternoon.

Israelis are outraged as Hamas again violates an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire extended to reach an agreement intended to end bloodshed.

Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Fatah and PA leader Mahmoud Abbas are set to meet Thursday in Qatar.

A Swiss research group warns that Syrian terror groups now possess anti-aircraft missiles.

Israeli singer-songwriter Yigal Bashan was stabbed in the chest on Sunday but the circumstances are still unclear.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/putting-my-body-where-my-mouth-is/2010/09/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: