Fifteen seconds will never mean the same to me again.
A small kibbutz called Kfar Aza (or more affectionately, the Gaza Village) flourishes with the young and old who seek a life of simplicity, love and peace. The nearly 200 families live on the kibbutz long for the idea that they can live at the highest level of transcendent happiness - euphoria.
For you and me this may seem a bit like a fairytale, but for many of these residents this is all they know.
Until the countdown begins...
1. For every short and panicked breath under the greenest of trees. 2. For the elderly who may not be able to move swiftly to shelter. 3. For the cries to parents - why do we live here? 4. For the cries to children - will you go with me? 5. For the simplest hope of normalcy. 6. For those who are numb to the idea of spending the entire night on a cement floor. 7. For the fear of not waking up tomorrow. 8. For the fear of waking up tomorrow. 9. For the insomnia. 10. For the tremors on earth and in our hearts and minds. 11. For the rest of the clueless world. 12. For the mother who lives on the opposite side of this fear. 13. For the decision of where to run when time has run out. 14. For the thought to give up. 15. For the thought to fight.
A whistle that is seemingly heard around the world; fifteen seconds is all it takes.
Fifteen seconds now becomes a lifetime of unrest. An entire village scrambles and returns to normalcy all before the first school bus arrives.
Israel, not perfect and not always prepared. But, Israel - an incubator of love and faith, and an incubator of innovation, charm and wit.
A tough human.
Through the borders, the fences and the feed-what-bleeds media, Israel welcomes their brothers and sisters with open arms. Jewish, Muslim and Christians alike shop and sell in the same areas, sip the same coffee and watch their children grow up with an untainted view of the world. The ultimate innocence made possible by the smallest of lands. For Israel's most vulnerable, it's a constant struggle to maintain this innocence. Centuries of struggle make it challenging, but they never give up hope.
A resilient human.