August 2, 2002


'This Struggle Is Worthwhile' (MARLA BENNETT , August 2, 2002, LA Times)
The following is excerpted from an essay by Marla Bennett, one of the five Americans killed Wednesday in the bombing of Hebrew University. It originally appeared in the weekly San Diego Jewish Press-Heritage on May 10.

Each morning when I leave my apartment building, I have an important question to contemplate: Should I turn left or should I turn right?

This question may seem inconsequential, but the events of the past few months in Israel have led me to believe that each small decision I make--by which route to walk to school, whether to go out to dinner--may have life-threatening consequences.

I have been living in Israel for a year and a half; I arrived just a month before the current wave of violence and horror began. And for about that same period of time, I have been receiving calls each week from various friends and family members who subtly, or less than subtly, suggest I think about coming home. My friends and family talk about how dangerous it is here, and I have to agree with them. It is dangerous. But I remain unconvinced that the rest of the world is such a safe place. [...]

My friends and family in San Diego are right when they call and ask me to come home. It is dangerous here. I appreciate their concern. But there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be right now. I have a front-row seat for the history of the Jewish people. I am a part of the struggle for Israel's survival. Paying for my groceries is the same as contributing money to my favorite cause. Since traveling to Prague and feeling the fear of the Prague community as they faced possible violence, I know that this struggle is worthwhile.

There is just something so profoundly disturbing about a world in which where you are standing at any given moment of the day determines whether you'll be blown up for being Jewish, that we can't even begin to comprehend it. But we can understand this woman's bravery and honor her life, which she proved was of immense worth by being willing to sacrifice it in a worthwhile cause : the survival of Israel and the Jewish people. Posted by Orrin Judd at August 2, 2002 2:25 PM
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