The Author

Below is a letter I sent to my concerned family in response to the latest terror wave gripping Israel.

Hey all,

It’s gotten increasingly tense around here.

Still, we go about our daily lives: working, taking the girls to pre-school, meeting friends, etc. I suppose the choice is simple: get busy living, or get busy hiding.

We humbly choose the former.

Living in this strange, wonderful country isn’t an act of bravery, but one of love and faith that ultimately the rightness of our cause will prevail.

While Israel is regularly labeled, it’s rarely defined. How’s this: a country that has bucked the very laws of history, first by coming into existence, and then by not just surviving, but thriving.

Israel is a myth that had the unmitigated gall to become a reality, a living miracle.

Israel’s uniqueness isn’t that the majority of its population belongs to one religion. Many countries are comprised of populations that belong to one dominant faith.

No, Israel stands out because it has come into being and matured while 500 million neighbors have openly sought its destruction.

I guess I’m just a sucker for an underdog story. After all, my favorite movie is Rocky.

While we are experiencing yet another terror wave, the obvious question for many immigrants arises: why stay? Why do Jews who can live elsewhere live in Israel, of all places?

To use a sports analogy, it’s the difference between living life as a spectator, viewing the great events of our time from a safe distance, and being in the arena.

Another comparison can be made with real estate: the difference between renting a luxury condominium and owning a ‘fixer upper.’

Actually, a better reason to stay is a bit more personal: Jerusalem gave me my wife Debbie and our two baby girls.

In essence, Israel gave me a second chance at life.

Jerusalem’s given me so much. I think the old girl deserves some of my love and loyalty, no?


Article by Gidon Ben-Zvi

Gidon Ben-Zvi, Jerusalem Correspondent for the Algemeiner newspaper, is an accomplished writer who left behind Hollywood starlight for Jerusalem stone. After serving in an IDF infantry unit for two-and-a-half years, Gidon returned to the United States before settling in Israel, where he aspires to raise a brood of children who speak English fluently – with an Israeli accent. In addition to writing for The Algemeiner, Ben-Zvi contributes to The Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, CIF Watch and United with Israel.