Joelle -- outstanding Livnot volunteer
[moderator] Joelle works with Admissions for Livnot U'Lehibanot. She took her work up north last week to be part of Livnot's relief effort and stand together with Northern residents during this period.
What is important? I feel like I've lost some perspective. I've been up in Tzfat since last Wednesday - 1 week now. And I'm exhausted. It's a different type of exhausted than I'm used to. It's an emotional exhaustion. There is so much happiness abounding around all the volunteers that are here doing this so important job. I am here and doing volunteer work as well as trying to find time for my job. Even when there is happiness, and I can't help think of my friends that are currently in Lebanon. My friend from graduate school...in Lebanon. My friend's husband is in Lebanon and they just told me a few weeks ago that she is pregnant with her third child. I feel the need for some sort of release. Just writing now...is starting to make me cry. There have been over 60 soldiers - not even counting civilians - that have been killed since this war began. That's 60 of our brothers and sisters. And every day I'm in fear of finding out that it's one of my friends. Being back here in Tzfat...this war became real. And I keep holding back tears...they are on the brink, but then I think, I need to be strong.I'm going back to Jerusalem tomorrow - and it's a different world there. It's peaceful and quiet and beautiful. And there's no war there. It's like being in Canada right now. No different. Here...in tzfat...well, the other volunteers are cooking for a bbq right now and we're not even allowed to stand out on that beautiful peaceful mirpeset (porch) that I love so much. Just to sit there and look out.I went to a ma'ayan (spring) with a few woman late on Saturday night - for a late night dip. We got there and the whole place was on fire. We had to leave. It was so sad. More than sad - it was so difficult to tear ourselves away from there. But it was dangerous for us to stay. The next day, someone drove to take a look at the ma'ayan...and all the area around it was burned down. Our poor nature. And you learn to thank G-d that the katyusha hit there, and not somewhere closer to civilian life. I was at the hospital yesterday with my friend Pesach and we were visiting injuedred soldiers and playing some music...and then katyushas hit right near the hospital. Who does that? Who aims for a hospital? One has to ask themselves what we are up against.I am so tired right now. I started this email hours ago and just came back to it now. Pesach taught me a few chords on the guitar and he and I were jamming. He challenged me to write a song and I actually started doing it. Crazy stuff. No one ever challenged me in that way before. I never knew I had it in me. So, I started. And the words started coming in hebrew. So bizarre. We played together last night at the hospital - me strumming my two chords and he played on his Native american flute. And a soldier we were playing to slowly drifted off to sleep. After we tip toed out of the room, we chatted with his family who were crying. We asked why. His three friends were killed right in front of him and he killed their killers. And he hasn't been able to sleep since. Wow.War sucks. I can't think of another word for it.Peace and love...Joelle