Tag Archives: God

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.

Fire

israel-jerusalem-wailing-wall-prayer-close-up

When Rosh Hashanah came around, I knew we were headed into a year of revelation. Of what, I wasn’t sure. But I knew…

And sure enough, on Erev Rosh Hashanah, it began.

You can say it began a long time ago; it’s true, it did. But this was the beginning of 778 terror attacks from Rosh Hashanah until now.

And after last week’s attacks on the father and his son, and today’s separate terror attacks in Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion, I feel emotionally exhausted.

I wanted to write out of passionate fury but my passion has weakened and my emotions are frayed. This is too much, too much for one nation, let alone multiple families and friends, to bear.

Our voices are hoarse from screaming to be heard, our eyes are red from the endless tears we have shed for centuries – for this land, this home we have been yearning for, and for our people, who have died to give us this precious homeland. These forces which seek to vanquish us, those who state that our heritage and our claim are illegitimate – they are fighting tooth and nail to deprive us of what rightfully is, has been, and always will be, ours.

But those who have died – whether intentionally in the name of the Jewish people, Israel, and God, or unintentionally – have not died in vain. Though our limbs may be fatigued and though our hearts sit heavy, we will march forward into that bleak, desperate future. We will shuffle forward despite the putrid black smoke ahead. We will stop to weep beside the rivers of Babylon and we will swear to remember Jerusalem always. And we will run like no one has ever run to the light which we see just at the horizon, the faint, elusive promise of what will certainly be but is not yet. And despite those who wish to destroy us, whether by word or by deed, we will prevail because that is the beauty of our existence.

Our fire is an eternal flame.

We will prevail.

Am Yisrael chai.