The Blessing – and Peril – of Living in Israel

Ami Farkas:

KotelI recently traveled back to Israel with my wife and children after spending a quiet summer with family and friends in the U.S. The cab driver who drove us to the airport had only good things to say when he learned that Israel was our destination: “Israel is number one,” he exclaimed, raising his hands in the air. My wife and I gave each other a proud glance as we explained to our bewildered kids what a privilege it is to live in the Holy Land.

After we arrived in Israel, we once again packed our five overstuffed suitcases into a taxi. We were thrilled that the long flight was behind us and soon we’d be home at last. Within five minutes we were on the highway heading north and soon the familiar top-of-the-hour news jingle blared inside the cab….

Posted in: Ami Farkas / Terrorism / 

Raw Video: Life Under Hamas Rocket Attacks

When Code Red sirens go off in Israel, signaling that yet another rocket has been launched on civilian areas by terrorists in Gaza, people have a matter of seconds to get to safety in a bomb shelter. On the 19th of November 2012, three international students traveled to the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, to catch a glimpse of life under constant rocket threat.

Posted in: Learn / Middle East Climate / Terrorism

Getting a Gas Mask for My One-Year-Old

Ami Farkas:

Living in Israel has afforded me countless privileges, such as being able to visit Jerusalem and other holy sites as well as hearing my kids speak Hebrew, just as our ancestors did some 2,000 years ago.

So when I walked out of an elementary school gymnasium earlier this week with a box containing a gas mask for my one-year-old daughter, I didn’t complain or regret my decision to live in Israel. I simply tucked the gas mask neatly into my car, and drove off with the same fortunate feelings of joy and security that I always feel when contemplating my life here in the Holy Land.

Living in the Middle East – with Hezbollah as our neighbors in the north, Hamas our neighbors down south, and a Syrian civil war threatening to spill over our borders to the east – forces…

Posted in: Ami Farkas / Hot Button Issues / Israel's Border

4Zion Breaks Ground on New Trauma Center

8903697255_2eaaca3408_zOn May 20, Rabbi Eckstein and Yael Eckstein attended a cornerstone-laying ceremony for a 4Zion-funded trauma center in Eshkol, a rural region in southern Israel frequently targeted by terrorists’ rockets.

4Zion is providing a grant, with the Ministry of the Interior providing matching funds, to build a Fellowship House Trauma Clinic. This will be a new reinforced building attached to an existing social service center and will be used to help victims of terror deal with psychological trauma and stress.

Rabbi Eckstein poured the cornerstone cement along with Eshkol regional council official Chaim Yellin. Then, along with all of the social workers in attendance, each placed small stones inscribed with words like “security” and “peace” on the pile so the rocks, like their messages of shalom (peace), would become a permanent part of the new structure.

Tamar Auerbach, director of the Eshkol department of social services,…

Posted in: Guardians of Israel / Help / Learn

Asael Lubotzkyl: A Story of Resilience and Courage

Critically wounded by a rocket launched by Hezbollah terrorists, Asael Lubotzky dramatically transformed from victim to healer. Hear his story of miraculous recovery and how he used his limitations to rise up even higher than before.

Posted in: Learn / Middle East Climate / Terrorism