It has been a major challenge to bring myself to the page.

I have tried to muster up a string of cohesive thoughts to share about how it feels to be a Jewish woman, in the Golan Heights these days.
105 days into this still raging war, with no clear end in sight.

It’s a tall task.

While we still defend and fight on the ground, under the ground, in the sky, in the sea. On three of our five borders. Within our borders, at our bus stops, in our Knesset, on our streets. In international courts, on social media, in our dreams, while we sleep and while were awake.
While the fates of our stolen are still unknown. While our wounds heal and are ripped open again and again.

It’s a constant pulsing reality.
For all of us.

And at the same time, we’re moving through it, plugging along, livin’ the vida loca.
My relationships have never been stronger.
I’ve found new meaning in prayer.
Found more beauty and comfort in simple, day-to-day, domestic routine.
I’ve fallen deeper in love with my people, our soldiers, and all those that stand with us.
Maybe I’ve gotten a little wiser.

It’s very much a “never saw the sunrise till I stayed up all night” kind of experience.
The darkness provides a sharp contrast to all that is light.
That contrast allows all that is light kind a special kind of sparkle.
It’s a high definition way of being that fills me with strength and can also zap my strength in equal measure – depending on the particular data coming in.

When friends and family abroad ask, “How are you? How are things?” I don’t always know how to respond.

It’s hard.
It’s special.
It’s terrifying.
It’s a time packed with meaning and beautiful acts of bravery and kindness.
It’s so sad.
It’s exhausting.
I’m still moisturizing most nights.

I’ll leave you with a small story.

My Shishi (13) is full of love.

When she comes in or out of a room, even if she’s just walking from the kitchen to the kitchen table, more often than not, she’ll say, “I love you.”
When we hang up from a 30 second phone call, when she walks out the door, when she’s done with a conversation, she says, “I love you.”

When she first started doing this, I found myself a tiny bit annoyed.
I guess I had an impression that the repetition of the words “I love you” were like an automated response that somehow weakened its meaning the more it was spoken.

I don’t think that anymore.

When she says “I love you,” I believe her.
When she says “I love you,” I feel it and embrace it.
When she says “I love you,” I say, “Thank you love. I love you too sweet girl.”
And I mean it every time.

So, that’s also how I am.
Very much choosing to live in love.
To feel it. To speak it. To enjoy it. To share it.

Shabbat shalom friends.
I love you.