Waking up To Hope

Ari Yellin-Levine

Waking up in the mornings can be difficult. The days on TRY are long and action packed. However, a few days ago, something happened that woke me up instantly. I woke up around 6 and opened my phone to check the news, a habit I have developed since October 7th. Normally, all I see is bad news: hostage deals rejected and fallen soldiers. However, this day was different. The news wasn’t focused on the bad stuff. For the first time in weeks, we had some good news. Two hostages had been rescued.

Finally, the nation had something to celebrate. For the first time since the beginning of the war, the IDF managed to save hostages. No terrorists had to be released, no deals had to be made, but two of our people were back. That morning, my joy was on a level it has rarely been on since October. Now, when I look at the hostage number, 134, I remember, we got two back, we can get the rest. Will all of the hostages be rescued, almost certainly not, sacrifices will have to be made, but there is hope. 

No matter where I was, this would have been an amazing moment, but having it in Israel made it so much better. Going to tefilla that morning felt different. The entire counrty wants the hostages home, and you can’t take two steps without seeing Bring Them Home signs. In America, hostage posters are taken down as an antisemetic act of hate. Here in Jerusalem, I got to see signs be taken down because the people had come home. This wasn’t just my joy, it was the joy of an entire nation – a nation I get to physically be a part of. Over the next four months, I hope that I will experience this joy again and again, until the last hostage comes home.

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