As much as we accept that this is our destiny for now in this country, that in order to live in Israel one must take war in stride, the psychological reality of our existence here is rather intricate. Not only do people have to face war as soldiers, risking their lives, or as soldiers' relatives, waiting for their dear ones to return safely, but, here in Israel, people have to face a series of wars, none of which seems to be final. This repetitive occurrence of wars in one's lifetime, the certainty of another approaching war, is probably unique to our area. Psychologically, I believe this is different from experiencing one war as an isolated event, which is part of one's past. In Israel, war is part of the past, present, and future of each individual. One has to prepare for the next one, hoping to postpone it as long as possible, yet waiting. Questions like "If I was lucky the last few times, won't my luck run out the next time?" and "Will my son have to be a combat soldier, too?" are very real and painful for Israelis, not just invented future catastrophes we all carry within us.
The need to adjust to this reality raises the questions: What is necessary for the welfare of the country? What is best for the well-being of the individual citizen? Sometimes it may seem as if the answers are incompatible. The country needs efficient soldiers and builders; it encourages superior performance. Individuals need a climate in which to grow, to become what they can and wish. There is, however, one very basic common ground; namely, society must be interested in the sanity of its members, so that they, in turn, will be able to contribute