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Chanie and I recently returned from a trip to Israel. Our trip was unique in that we both haven’t been to the Holy Land in nearly seven years, and this was our first trip there together.

Both of us had spent a number of years in Israel in the past, so in planning this trip we decided that we would not do any touring. Instead, we’d spend most of our time in Jerusalem. The primary purpose of this trip was for a relative’s wedding, which was held in Kefar Chabad, a small town outside of Tel Aviv. Aside for the wedding, we remained in Jerusalem for our entire stay.

Our days began with a trek to the Western Wall for Shacharit, the morning prayers. On the return trip, we would stop at a café or bagel shop for brunch. We generally spent the remainder of our days strolling through the city, taking in the sites and sounds of the Jewish capital’s daily routine.

Wherever we went, people were going about their business as usual. The outdoor marketplaces and malls are as busy as ever, and the economy is doing quite well. Cranes and scaffolding are visible from everywhere, as construction projects are going up all around Jerusalem, as well as other parts of the country. Luxury residences, hotels, and shopping malls are just some of the current projects set to be completed in the near future.

To be sure, the cloud of terrorism still hovers over all this. There are daily reports of Kassam rockets shelling the town of Sderot and other cities neighboring Gaza. And the constant talk of dividing the city of Jerusalem yet again doesn’t add much encouragement either. But our Israeli brethren are aware that curbing their daily activities is to give the terrorists the victory they so desire. Life in Israel goes on because that is what the Jewish people do best; we persevere.

The Jewish people have lived through persecution and threats of extinction as long as we’ve been a people. This has never impeded upon our drive to exist. We have always remained steadfast in our beliefs, and by continuing to do so, we are guaranteed to outlive all who wish us harm.

I encourage everyone to make a trip to Israel, and experience for yourselves the wonderful land G-d has given to the Jewish people as our eternal inheritance.

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