A friend of mine, who lived in a community in Gush Etzion, told me that she had once been shot at multiple times as she drove into her town. She was a sweet, soft-spoken South African woman, and she had two of her children in the backseat of the car at the time.

“What did you do?” I asked, horrified.

“I ducked my head and kept driving as fast as I could,” she answered.

“How did you do that? How did you stay calm? How did you keep driving?”

“Because I had to. I wanted to live more than I was afraid to move.”

I recently heard a story that reminded me of the courageous, matter-of-fact way she answered me. An elderly man was walking on the street in the winter and there were some icy spots along the sidewalk. The man slipped on a patch of ice and fell. A young man saw him slip and rushed over to help him up.

After the older man thanked him, the young man turned to him and said, “Stay inside where it is safe.”

The old man stood up straight, looked him in the eyes and said, “I want to walk more than I am afraid to fall.”

His words were echoing through my mind when I heard the horrific news of the recent terror attacks in Israel. After 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was murdered in her bed last week, her father sat beside Hallel’s sobbing mother and said: “Last night she came home from a dance performance. She was an amazing girl; she worked very hard for years to become a dancer. She put so much effort into everything she did. God gave her a great mind, lots of wisdom. She was so bright. Hallel loved living here, loved the place. She wasn’t afraid of anyone. She never imagined, nor did anyone else, that an evil person, one of 1.5 billion Muslims, who just want to drown the world in rivers of blood would murder her while she slept. That’s what they live for. It’s terrible, just think about it. A little girl who did nothing.”

And just after Israel buried Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a terrorist shot at a family driving in their car to their home in Otniel. Michoel Mark, who was director of the Otniel Hesder Yeshiva and the father of ten children was murdered in front of his children and his wife and children are seriously injured.

I have never met the Ariel family or the Mark family, but I have had the privilege of visiting Kiryat Arba and many other communities near or along the border of Palestinian towns. The people who live there are some of the most inspiring people I have ever met. I am amazed by their strength, their courage, their bottomless love for the Jewish people and for the land of Israel. I'm struck by their kindness and their hospitality.

But more than anything else, I think of the words of the elderly man – “I want to walk more than I am afraid to fall” – when I think of these families who are constantly living under the shadow of such horrific terror. They are on the front lines but they aren’t moving. Why? Because they want to save the Jewish people more than they are afraid to die. Every day they risk their lives to fight for our right to live in the Jewish homeland. It’s that hard, and it’s that simple. They want to give more than they want to take. Every moment. Every day.

And for that they deserve not only our prayers and our condolences but also our deepest gratitude. May God comfort the mourning families and heal those who were injured in the heart-rending attacks last week. Please pray for the wife of Michoel Mark HY”D, Chava Rochel bas Ayelet and two of his children that were injured in the attack, Tehilla bas Chava Rochel and Pedaiya Menachem ben Chava Rochel.