The Author


Why do you want to live so close to Gaza? Aren’t you afraid of missiles and terror attacks?

As I have blogged my times before, my family and I have been living in Israel for 23 years and for the past 13 years we have lived in the Negev, in the South.

The yishuv [community] where we live is five minutes from Netivot, 12 minutes from Sderot, half an hour from Be’er Sheva and nine kilometers [5 1/2 miles] from Gaza.

The most common question I am asked from people who do not live in Israel, and some Israelis for that matter, is: Why do you want to live so close to Gaza? It is so dangerous. Aren’t you afraid of missiles and terror attacks?

My answer is: Why wouldn’t we want to live in the Negev? The south is a beautiful part of our country.

Just imagine living on the same land where our forefather Abraham lived. A couple of kilometers from where I live, Abraham set up his tents, made purchases from passing merchants and grazed his sheep.

The land that we walk on today is the same land that Abraham walked upon. Amazing!

In the Torah portion of Bereishit, my area is referred to as Gerar. Today, there is a national park on this land called Nahal Gerar. My grandchildren love to visit and walk the trails.

When we decided to live in the Negev, the Arabs in Gaza were never a consideration. We are not heroes. We don’t have our heads in the sand, and during war time we follow the instructions of the IDF.

On the other hand, we will never allow Arabs to dictate where we live or where we go. And yes, grad missiles have exploded in our backyard and on streets not far from us.

Hamas and company, the different factions that live in Gaza and Sinai are once again firing missiles towards the southern communities of Israel.

Our yishuv had an incoming missile warning siren two weeks ago, just as we were finishing our Shabbat meal. Other communities have had almost-nightly sirens.

Last night a rocket exploded next to a home where a family was home. Thank God there were no physical injuries, but there was extensive damage to the home and their car was totaled.

We have been awakened during the night to the incoming warning siren that gives us only 15 seconds to reach safety. My grandchildren who live on my yishuv attend a fortified school three kilometers from Gaza.

I could go on and on…but I will end by saying: If you are planning a visit to Israel or to make Aliyah, consider coming to the south.  You won’t be sorry.

The Negev is a great place to raise a family and call home.


Article by Miriam Goodman

Miriam Goodman made Aliyah from Canada with her family in 1994. She lives in the Negev. She is the mother of three, the safta of 13 precious Sabra grandchildren and a great-grandmother. She is known for her 'Safta Cookies'. Writing is a hobby and she has a blog called Miriam's Words.