Category Archives: Current Events

Israel

I found a draft of a blog post I was beginning to write a couple of years ago, a few months after moving to Israel officially:

“Since coming to Israel, I’ve received some mixed criticism and confusion from my non-Jewish friends who don’t quite understand why I would come to such a dangerous and so very non-American country and decide to live here. As Oscar Wilde says, ‘The truth is rarely pure and never simple,’ and I’d like to use that quote as a disclaimer to my upcoming explanation which won’t be totally pulled together or comprehensive.

As I was saying before, I grew up with a deep love of Israel. Many of my friends, teachers, and community members were Israeli, I sang Israeli folk songs with classmates, and the Israeli flag hung in our auditorium. It might sound odd for a Silicon Valley upbringing, but that was normal for me. That was life.

I remember the first time I went to Israel – it was my 8th grade class trip, with five of my classmates (my school was very small – my 8th grade graduating class of 2007 consisted of eight people including myself). Certain memories are hazy, but mainly I remember the feeling that I was in the right place. I remember thinking that even the sun seemed to shine differently in the magical land of Israel. I remember weeping when I left (to be honest, it was less civilized than that and involved some messy bawling at the airport).

I remember that the Israeli security woman at the airport told me, in response to my tears (I was unabashedly crying the entire way through the airport, and even when boarding the plane), ‘You will come back.’ I don’t remember her face, her name, or any significant details about her, but she said that to me and to me alone, and it stuck.

So, here I am, almost a full eight years later, and upon first re-entering this country, I knew that I could never leave it. Not only did I fall in love with Eretz Yisrael all over again, like it was some long-lost love affair, but I met and fell in love with my soon-to-be husband, which I view to be a kind of confirmation from God that this was, indeed, where I was supposed to be.”

I now turn to you, the reader: pray for my husband and I, that we might return to our home very quickly, and not simply in the figurative way our people have yearned for home for centuries. We are willing, ready, but not quite able to make this happen yet. A few things must happen first, but if it weren’t for certain constraints, we’d be there tomorrow. Pray for us: pray that we will see our home again soon, and that we will merit to live there once again, and forever.

Redirect

Hi everyone! I’m writing this post so that my current followers can start reading more posts like this on www.hlhawkins.com. I have transferred all my previous posts and information to the new site. I have yet to set up an official redirect, but feel free to subscribe to my new site!

Jews are changing by “God’s design”, not disappearing as some rabbis proclaim — Intellectual Judaism – yes, it is

Your assessment of the future of American and Israeli Jewry depends on how you define the Jewish identity. If you define it, as traditional rabbis are doing, by being born to a sort of halakhic Jewish family, the future is bleak. Indeed, the Jewish majority in America and Israel is increasingly being born to non-halakhic […]

via Jews are changing by “God’s design”, not disappearing as some rabbis proclaim — Intellectual Judaism – yes, it is

Failure?

Like a child running to hide behind her mother’s skirt, I ran back to America. And like that child, I found that it did no good. It didn’t erase the big, frightening world out there.

In my case, Aliyah did not fail me. I failed myself. I gave up when we were on the brink of some stability. Call it fear, exhaustion, hormones – probably some combination of all three. I have spent the last year and a half remembering the events that led to our hasty departure, reviewing my own thought processes which led to that fateful decision to leave. I have tried to make sense of it, and I can’t. Israel welcomed me with open arms, and I fell into its loving embrace.

Yes, the months leading up to our departure were hard. But a seasoned resident wouldn’t have so much as blinked at such problems. I had been effectively handling all the myriad ways a new immigrant could fail, and yet the one thing which stumped me was the lack of family. And I didn’t need to fail at that. I could’ve found a way to overcome it. Instead, I let fear drive me. Fear not of present regret, but of future. I didn’t know my future regret for not following my heart would be even greater.

I’m not normally a fearful person. Fear has never been natural to me. I suppose, from time to time, we must all face it. I did, and I failed. Now I know what it looks like, what it’s clothed in and how it tricks you. How it can ruin your life, not beyond repair, but beyond recognition.

I thought I was finished with Israel, or that it was finished with me. The truth is that we are not finished – far from it. We are finding a way to go back, and to be stronger than ever before. I will not make the mistakes of my old self. I will not give up. I will not let go of that precious dream which has sustained my people for centuries.

I refuse to let fear dictate my actions. I refuse to give in to worry and depression. With all transitions there must be some period of adjustment, one that may not be too kind, but that is a necessary evil.

And when we return, God willing soon, we will thank God everyday for blessing us with the opportunity to be there.

“Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land.” (Ezekiel 37:21)