Eyal Press

Death and Sacrifice in Israel

September 1st, 2007

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One evening the summer before last, in the fourth week of the war between Israel and Hezbollah, I had dinner at an Italian restaurant in Jerusalem with my cousin, Ronit, and her husband, Aryeh, a commander in the Israeli army. Aryeh had just returned from Lebanon, his second stint there. The previous day, he had attended the funeral of one of his childhood friends, who was killed in the fighting. Somehow, the conversation got around to a topic about which Jews seem to be perennially obsessed, particularly in stressful times—where, in a world full of danger, it is best to live.

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