IDF soldiers play with young children in a public bomb shelter in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, July 16, 2014. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90) (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
IDF children

Life coach Andi Saitowitz shares her thoughts about life under bombardment of rockets and how ordinary people are the real heroes of Israel.

By Andi Saitowitz, Lay of the Land

This week I gave an intensive workshop and presentation to a team in a nearby city. Just before I left, Code Red alarms were still blaring on the app on my phone as our brothers and sisters in the south continued to be bombarded with rockets. As I picked up my phone to check the address where I was going, I suddenly realized that I was going to street called גיבורי ישראל  (“Giborei Israel”) – Hebrew for “Heroes of Israel.”

I couldn’t help but pause and think about all those families who are living within such a close radius to the line of fire.

I couldn’t help but think about our armed forces, who risk their lives daily to protect our nation and homeland.

I couldn’t help but think about the heroes who have fallen – and the injured and the hurt and the scared.

I couldn’t help but think of the past heroes who in their merit and honor, we have a state and a home.

I couldn’t help but think about the first-responders and the defenders of Israel around the world who with such pride, courage and resilience, stand for Israel against all odds.

I couldn’t help but think of all the people who choose to make Israel their home.

I couldn’t help but think of all the people who pray for Israel, from near and far.

I couldn’t help but think of the friends of Israel who want to see her grow and blossom.

I couldn’t help but think of the unity we manage to hold together, even when everything around us seems to be falling apart.

As I drove to The Heroes of Israel Street for a jam-packed day of personal development, growth, team building, training and leadership, I thought of the real heroes of Israel:

Every person who prays for peace.

Every person who fights for peace.

Every person who finds the resilience to keep the faith when times are tough.

Every person who holds Hatikva (The Hope – Israel’s national anthem) in his or her heart when all hope sometimes seems lost.

Every person who lives the values and ideals that we hold so dear.

Every parent who has a few seconds to run for shelter with small children.

If you are already here, you are a Hero of Israel.

If you love and protect us, you are a Hero of Israel.

If you dream of being here; you are a Hero of Israel.

If you pray for us wherever you are, you are a Hero of Israel.

If you represent us with integrity, you are a Hero of Israel.

If you spread truth about us, you are a Hero of Israel.

If you want us to thrive, you are a Hero of Israel.

If you stand with us, you are a Hero of Israel.

If you want to live with us and beside us and close to us and in peace with us: you are a Hero of Israel.

And it doesn’t matter who you are.

Andi Saitowitz was born and raised in South Africa and made Aliyah in 1999. A Personal Development Strategist, Life Coach, Mentor and Transformation Leader, she lives in the central city of Ra’anana.

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