Thursday, January 2, 2014

a snapshot of Israel

I was in Israel for the second time in October. I am ready to return and it will be soon.

Israel is reverent, but trendy, old fashioned, safe and at the same time terrifying, happy, sad, sexy, frumpy. Black Jews, white Jews, brown Jews …. I thought of all that and more as I contemplated what I was seeing in Israel. Everywhere I walked I saw bustling, busy people and construction going on.

The bottom line is that I felt comfortable in Israel. I am Jewish and I was home. It dawned on me that Israel is an enigma in that this promised land is our reward for centuries of hatred, vandalism, murder, and mayhem against us. It is a gift but it is also a responsibility. I want to go and be a good Israeli citizen. This is not the Israel that I imagined all of the years of my life. It is better, it is brilliant, it is Israel. I was thanking G-d for my existence on this Wednesday in Israel.

I put my towel down to lay in the sun on Banana Beach. I was in Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea. Laying on the beach listening to the crashing waves and the pop pop pop of the guys playing beach hand ball, I was thoroughly enjoying the eye candy. I saw a glass collector wending his way along the beach among the sunbathers until he’d spot someone close to the end of their beer or soda. “Drink up,” he urgently told them in Hebrew and they obeyed, handing over their empty bottle to him. Even the glass collector is a respected contributor to this intriguing society. After all, his function is important as he keeps the beach clean and performs the important job of recycling.

I love that everyone’s hair is a mess and that it doesn’t matter. We are feral, and we are free.

I came back to America to say goodbye to my parents bones, sell their house, and kiss my siblings, nieces and nephews, and the machatonim goodbye. But I must return to my promised land, where I feel at home. Baruch Hashem ...