We spent the day there hanging out while the kids played. It wasn’t all cookies and cream - I’m having growing pain issues with my daughters. I’m a single dad, 47. Its hard for me to let go of my girls. They are 17 and 11. They are great kids, but they need space. They are right. It's my problem. Life changes.
We left them and I had a long meaningful talk with my sister by phone. I cried. We talked for an hour about our mom who passed away in 2013, about both of us spending the summer in Israel, about life. We both spend most of the summer in Israel.
After we spoke, she told me she’s going to take a nap. She called me back a few minutes later and said go find a bomb shelter. I didn’t pay attention and thought she was joking. I said stop I’m really tired I wanna nap. What on Earth are you talking about? Tel Aviv is magical. Countless amazing restaurants. Great beaches. Everyone is so happy. The best city in the world. What bomb shelter? What are you even talking about? Stop.
She put her husband on the phone. I love him dearly. Hes a good, good man, but he’s got the worst sense of humor. I was sure it was a dumb joke. I Googled found nothing, checked twitter and nothing. Texted a friend in the U.S. who thought I was nuts.
Then, a few minutes later a friend sent me a voice note. Ronn, be careful, Tel Aviv is going to get hit with rockets tonight, it's ok. Stay strong. It's normal. We go on. Everything is ok. Let me know if you need anything. I got a bunch of texts and calls like that from local friends.
Speaking to friends, they told me this is real and to be careful. Many stayed home. I had a dinner planned in Tel Aviv at a trendy restaurant, North Abraxas. 12 friends were scheduled to attend - --- at the end it was me and my girls and a close friend of 25 years, Galiv Gvily’. She’s like family and it was great. She left her son Ido at home to join us for dinner. We met 25 years ago. I was visiting Israel and dating a friend of hers. She hated me. Her best friend, my former girlfriend remains a very close friend of both of ours.
Our other friends understandably cancelled. It was a hot muggy evening. It's always nice to be home. And staying home is probably best. And there’s parents and kids to worry about.
When realizing that every single day Israelis live under this threat, you realize the beauty of Israel. It’s a fact of life that they live with constant threat of annhiliation. And they are so smart, so resilient.
Never again will we be killed without a defense system. Never again will the Jews be helpless.
We went out – and I’m so glad we did. We met a group of Dutch Jewish young men in their 30’s half of whom lived here half of whom were visiting. They spoke of natural things – their parents, job opportunities, women. They were teasing their ringleader about an Israeli girl he’d met in a club seven days ago from whom he has been inseparable. His friends said he’s saying he’s going to marry her. He extended his ticket twice to spend time with her. He’s got a week more. His friends want him to move here. They are definitely rooting for the girl, and for love.
He’s a great boy. As dinner ended around midnight – they at their table next to us, a group of about 10 more people their age came to meet them to go dancing. They vowed to party all night.
Brandon the young lovebird came over to tell us his girl is on his way and he can’t wait. I hope they get married and make many Jewish babies. They all wanted to go out to say Israel is good, and won't surrender. Good for them. They gave me hope. I’m glad my children met them. I am glad they met us. I wish I had taken his name or number. I wish we had taken a picture.
My kids realize Israel is the Jewish homeland and we are a part of this great nation. They said it and they heard it. This was a learning moment. Being in this great country is a long learning moment.
Because Israel took out a terrorist murderer of civilians, the Palestinian Arabs respond by targeting more civilians Shame on them. People dare to proclaim “Free Palestine” – codeword for kill the Jews. Where are the Israelis to go? Shame on them.
We had a great meal and strolled down Rothschild Boulevard to our hotel. Crowds were sparser than usual.
My girls were brave and understand. I’m proud of them for being them. For trusting in themselves and in me. For eating outdoors even as we were told bombs were coming. Like Israel they will know unconditional love and support from me. I expect and know they will stand with Israel.
They couldn’t go to the bathrooms by themselves for fear something could happen any minute. We reviewed where bomb shelters are when we sat at the restaurant.
My younger daughter is asleep in my bed tonite. Their mom’s family, my ex-wife is Ukranian from Kharkov. My girls identify very much as Ukranian-Americans. The world can be a very ugly place. It's scary times.
We won't ever give in. We can never ever surrender. We believe in God. We believe in us. They won't ever win. We won’t let our fear control us. Am Israel Chai. The Jewish people live.
Hundreds of rockets were fired at cities throughout Israel. Major Israeli cities heard alarms which forced people into shelters. My grandparents survived the Holocaust – many of my cousins didn’t. 6 million Jews were killed, and the State of Israel today is condemned by the world. Shame on them.
It's almost 3 AM. I’m tired. On the way back to the hotel room, staff showed us where the bomb shelter is. I tried to film it but got yelled at for being an embarrassing parent...
Should we need it we will go there in the middle of the night. If not, friends invited us to a party on the beach tomorrow. Then we have a great dinner.
We won't stop. Hey world, Israel is in the right. If you don’t think so, go to hell.
I’m disappointed that I’m only here a few weeks more. I love Israel.
Ronn Torossian is Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the 15 largest PR firms in the U.S..