I have been here in Israel for three months, had three moves including two cities, two Ulpans (Hebrew schools), inconvenience, joy, fear, new friends, and a babel of people speaking more languages that even I thought possible, even after working in a multi-lingual call center in Oakland, CA. What is this all about? I admit that I have wanted to come home several times due to homesickness for the conveniences of America and missing my family and friends. Last night was White City in Tel Aviv, Laila Lavan, in Hebrew. I watched the USA/German Soccer game on a big screen TV at Royal Beach, and then headed to Gordon Beach to watch the Israeli dancing. To see these Israelis dancing can only be described as pure joy. In the crowd young people were passing out yellow #BringBackOurBoys bracelets and helping folks take photos standing behind the poster with that same hashtag. A rally is being planned to take place in a few days in Tel Aviv and I will be there to lend my support. Three Israeli teenage boys were kidnapped by terrorists in the Gush Etzion area, where I coincidentally was visiting new friends Hagith and Sam Ashen on the same evening. I stayed for Shabbat weekend and we didn't hear any news as to whether the kids were safe until Shabbat ended. And then all hell broke loose. My friends have two daughters that live in the same area. Everyone in Israel is affected by this. Every Jew in the world is affected. We are a family. A big one. I think that is why I came here. I felt like I was coming home to my family. We (I can say "we" now) do not ever give up on Jewish prisoners. That includes Jonathan Pollard, who has paid for his crime over and over and is still held in an American prison after 10,445 days (almost thirty years) by Barrack Hussein Obama.
There is something about Israel that can only be felt after being here. The collective feeling of what we were born from, what we strive for, and the daily threat to existence is a magical glue that binds us together. We don't like everyone, we argue, and fight for our places in lines. But every day there are the tears and the smiles of our existential joy seen on the streets and everywhere you go. Young men and women (really boys and girls) in uniform carrying automatic weapons ride the buses and trains, causing me to sigh in relief every time I see them whether either on the local autobus or Egged to Jerusalem.
Stay tuned for more commentary of what I see and feel in Israel.
This is how we feel about the IDF: