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My time in Israel

israelGrowing up, I had always watched the news with a sense of lightheartedness. I think I assumed that because things weren’t happening to me, they never felt too real.
My perspective changed drastically over the summer, when I flew to Israel on July 8, the day things began to escalate with Hamas.
When we left for this trip, Hamas, a terrorist group in Gaza, had already killed three teenage Israeli boys: Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah. Before leaving I sensed the tension.
But I could not have prepared myself for the chaos that would begin. While flying from San Diego to New York, the rockets started to fire. Sitting in JFK airport, the group I was travelling with had a serious conversation about whether to continue on or to stay back.
We ended up going to Israel, and my eyes were opened to the world around me. Growing up in my perfect bubble of Southern California, seeing a country that was used to the sound of the sirens truly made me think about the difference between the two places.
Our first day there, we heard the sirens in our hotel and went to our first bomb shelter. This would become a regular feeling by the end of the trip, but in that moment, I was scared; this was something I had never encountered before and I never thought I would have to.
Seeing a beautiful country during a time of crisis made this all the more special to me. Seeing how the people who live there handle the things around them changed me, such as when we went to Shabbat services in Haifa, and the Rabbi brought us to the bomb shelter and gave us a long speech about living there and that sadly the reality was that they needed bomb shelters. This made me realize that my so called “problems” in California were really nothing.
I met a family of five while I was there. Originally my group was supposed to meet them at their home, but they were forced to leave as it was near the West Bank, which is the location of Hamas. I talked with them for quite a while. Hearing about how they had to grab what they could fit in their car and leave their home behind broke my heart. All they wanted was to go home, yet they couldn’t.
For me, the scariest moment of our trip was when a rocket landed right outside my hotel in the city of Eilat. The second I heard the boom, I was brought into the reality that the Iron Dome, the air defense system of Israel, cannot stop every rocket.
Without this trip, my view of the world would still be sheltered. I now have a better insight into the country of Israel, and I already know that one day, when it is safer, I will go back.

About Morgan Lanyon

Morgan is a senior at Mt. Carmel High School. She is kept constantly busy with varsity field hockey, Hebrew school, swim team, and being the co-Editor in Chief of the MC Sun. She has a problem with watching too much TV, and eating an excessive amount of snacks. She knows the lyrics to practically every Billy Joel song, and doesn't care who knows. She also knows about most celebrities, and can answer your questions almost as fast as the internet.

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