Actually, more like 4,000 miles away from home... but 1,000 posts here on Hatrack!
As some of you may know, I was born in Jerusalem, Israel. It's an absolutely amazing city, inside of an absolutely amazing country. Picture mountains... picture deserts... picture the ocean... picture lots of green and trees... and now, put all those pictures together. That's Israel.
I didn't live there for very long after I was born, my dad wanted to complete his PhD, so we moved to the US when I was very little. But Israel is still my home, and I go back and visit as often as possible, usually once a year. I feel privileged that I got to live there at all. The weather, the people, the sights, the views, the culture, the atmosphere... all combine together, and make an absolutely wonderful country.
Unfortunately, the country is SO wonderful, that everyone wants it... and (here is where I PROMISE that this thread was not intended to start a political debate) because of this fact, Israel's under a lot of tension. It's been under a lot of tension for a while. And from the other side of the world, the trouble looks huge, as the news fails to show us the good sides of living in Israel. Nobody is shown happily going to work or school every day, or celebrating on the high holidays, or even just sitting and spending time with their families. That is not considered news, but it is such a big part of the culture there.
I know that every time I go visit, there is never any pressure, or worry... I happily visit my friends, my family... we never have to worry that anything is going to happen to us. We know that the chances are very slight that something would happen. Very very slight. Unfortunately, it is not easy to convince others of this fact. When I go to Israel, I hear phrases like "I'll keep you in my prayers," or "be safe, and I'll be thinking of you." Though these are absolutely touching things to say, and make me realize what wonderful friends I have, they are not necessary. Nothing will happen, I will stay safe, and I will be as happy and merry with them when I get back as I was before.
I've lived in lots of places. I've lived in three different continents, and I'm only seventeen years old. I do, however, consider Israel my home, and I feel proud when I look at my Israeli passport and think "that's where I'm from. That's my homeland." I've thought that all my life, from when I was a little carefree kindergartener, and thought only of coloring and playing with my toys... to when I was in grade school, where my best friend lived two houses down, and we played together and thought of nothing but the fun we had... to when I was in middle school, and thought of only the wonderful friends I had made that year, and all the good times we spent... to now, when I'm in high school, and think only of the wonderful people, the amazing people, especially those who have entered my life only this year, and changed it very much for the better, those who have shown me what I couldn't see by myself... through all of those people, and all of those thoughts, and all of those years... Israel has been my homeland.
I started off this thread without any intention of it being sweet and schmaltzy, but I think I failed miserably. I just thought I'd share what I thought of my birthplace, how amazing it is. And Jerusalem, too, is the most amazing place in Israel, if ever the good fortune to go there comes your way, I strongly advise it. It is truly one of the most incredible places on this Earth.
I feel very privileged to have been born there.
Posts: 7877 | Registered: Feb 2003
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I think a sense of place is important to develop. The tendency in our world today is to live in little bubbles and never connect with the places we are. I'm glad that you appreciate the beauty of your culture and your country and it makes you such a vibrant, well-rounded person.
Next time you go, can I come with you? The middle east is on my list of places to go before I die or get married.
Mazel tov, and best wishes for a thousand more!
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Raia...honey, I hope you're feeling the love. You're one of the best and sweetest gals I've had the privilege of knowing. Thanks for the great landmark. Post on!
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quote: Raia...honey, I hope you're feeling the love. You're one of the best and sweetest gals I've had the privilege of knowing. -Narnia
Raia I agree with Narnia, and if you took out the words "one of" and of course make gals into gal, then it is what I would say. (Narnia I hope you don't mind me barrowing your words, but they were really good) And hey if you are looking for volunteers to go with you look over here. (If you wouldn't want that it is ok)
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Sarcasticmuppet: Thanks!! Hehe, you're awesome!! RRR: Wow! Thanks so much, I'm so glad I got to know you here!! Narnia: You are the sweetest person ever, thanks so much!! IrishRage: Thanks! Erik: I've enjoyed your posts too, thanks so much!! Ryan: There, we go all, another witness!! Thanks Ryan! Marek: Aww, Marek, you're so wonderful!!!! Thank you so much, you're the greatest!! And of COURSE you can come!!!
Congratulations on your landmark, Raia. I think you do well to remind us that the media presents a very skewed picture of life in Israel. If all you ever read about the country is about Palestian suicide attacks, Israeli retribution and the building of walls you begin to despair. I feel much more optimistic after having read your post. As long as ordinary life continues and fear has not overruled all other emotions in the souls of the people there is hope.
Here's to another thousand posts from you and to the victory of good everywhere and in everyone.
If you go Chanuka time, maybe you'll run into my parents. Well, not RUN into them, I trust.
I loved your post! It's so true. While the media tends to focus on all the negatives, the people of Israel continue to live -- and thrive! -- in one of the most beautiful places on earth. When I was there for a week in January, I worried far less about the state of things in Israel than in a average week living here.
And Raia, I'd call you a sabra, but you don't have any prickles!