By Nina Krasnoff, Mitzvah Corps Israel 2017 Participant
During my time with Mitzvah Corps Israel so far, the recurring themes of peace and violence occurring simultaneously continue to arise. During services this past Shabbat, I felt very at peace. Reflecting on the day before though, I thought about hearing bombs in the distance while at the Syrian border. It struck me that I felt at peace in a way I had never felt before, yet I was also in close proximity to violence in a way I had never been before.
Often in Israel, violence is a reminder of what it took to get to the point we are at today, while peace is a hope for the future. Even if we individually feel at peace here in Israel, it is still something we always pray for.
While in Hadera, our guide mentioned that the town is full of memorials for the dead, but that often, people don’t pay enough attention to the living. She noted that this shows that many Israelis live in fear. Even though Israel is a beautiful place that often makes us feel peaceful, it is important to remember the violence that Israel and the surrounding areas still face. What makes our trip so unique is that it strives to balance learning about the violence of the past, but also doing work that helps to move Israel towards a peaceful future.