Marcy Oster covers the Middle East for the Cleveland Jewish News from Karnei Shomron in the West Bank.
Next week, I will have to go to my polling station, stand behind a curtain, chose a paper ballot from among the 30 that will be arranged there, place that small square piece of paper in an envelope and put it in the blue ballot box decorated with the shield of the state of Israel.
Nahal Kana, a large stream that is one of the main tributaries of the Yarkon River, winds around and through parts of my community in the West Bank, ultimately spilling into the river near the Baptist Village in Petah Tikvah.
My week starts when Shabbat ends. Last week, it began with the El Paso, Texas, shooting that left 22 people dead. This week began with the news that the Palestinian killers of yeshiva student Dvir Sorek had been apprehended.
My husband and I spent a recent Shabbat with our 20-year-old son at his yeshiva. It is the end of his second post-high school year there and the first time all of the parents in his cohort were invited to spend Shabbat together and with our sons.
Last month, a Palestinian man who worked as a janitor in an elementary school in a haredi Orthodox settlement in the West Bank was arrested and indicted for the rape of a 7-year-old girl.
There is plenty of political excitement going on here in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still could not muster a majority government as of early this week, and Madonna used a Palestinian flag to promote a political message on stage at Eurovision.
As I wrote this at least 700 rockets had been fired from Gaza at civilians living in southern Israel and four Israeli civilians had been killed by the rocket-fire. Several were seriously injured, dozens more less seriously injured and the residents have been seriously rattled.