You know all those famous cool pictures of soldiers davening that always get passed around Facebook, etc?
Today I saw it for real!!
I was just driving along to work and noticed a number of patrols along the side of the road. As I pulled to a stop by a red light, I saw an army jeep, and 2 soldiers. One of them had his siddur in hand and was davening (praying) away. It was very inspiring. I love being protected by an army that includes many people with a strong belief and connection to G-d. I love watching that connection of a soldier thanking G-d for our land. The land that he is protecting. It gave me a good feeling.
What did not give me a good feeling was seeing the patrols out at all. You can either feel safer when you see lots of soldiers or less safe because you know there is a reason they are there. I feel sad. This is right near Ariel, my home turf and I hate having to see soldiers there. Because it means there is some kind of situation going on that they have to protect us. Granted, they are always protecting us but when it's more obvious like this, you wonder what sparked it. Not sure if it still has to do with the rock throwing that injured little Adelle bat Adva. or if it is something more recent. Whatever it is, I hate it.
We have family and friends who refuse to come to Ariel because they feel it is not safe. We laugh at them, we plead with them, we try to explain to them that they have the wrong impression. And that we actually feel THE safest in Ariel - more so than north, south, central. Shauli had a conversation with someone and was trying to get them to come visit us in Ariel. We assumed that she didn't want to come because she was nervous about the drive but she said that she was nervous about actually being in the city. It was SO strange for us to hear that being the reason. So foreign to us! What could a person possibly have to fear in Ariel that they wouldn't fear in other bigger cities here? He said to her, "But you went to Chevron and spent Shabbat there! How can you possibly feel less safe in Ariel??" She answered, 'But in Chevron, there are soldiers every few feet and there aren't in Ariel......"
That's because in Chevron you NEED soldiers every few feet and in Ariel you don't.
So when I do see soldiers around (though they were not in Ariel), despite what she thinks, I don't take comfort in their presence. It just makes me sad.....