Why I Love Israel

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May 7, 2015

Shalom,

Recent celebrations in Israel – Yom HaZikaron, or Memorial Day, and Yom HaAtzmaut, or Independence Day – especially resonated with me. I recently shared in The Jerusalem Post, my love for the Holy Land that I call home:

I love the street names, which are almost all named in honour of biblical heroes, founders of the nation of Israel, or philanthropists who helped develop the modern state.

I love the savtot (grandmothers) who spend their days reciting Tehillim (psalms) while sitting on park benches, in public buses and inside ancient synagogues.

I love the fact that my children are in school with Jewish kids from Ethiopia, Yemen, Morocco, Russia and many other places.

I love how people go to weddings in jeans and a button-down shirt.

I love how everyone feels like family to each other, creating an atmosphere where you can be blunt and speak your mind.

I love how when I take my babies for a walk, everyone on the street comes up to me with their opinion on whether the baby is too cold or too hot.

I love how the people of Israel have diverse opinions on almost everything, yet everyone comes together in unity during times of celebration and hardships.

I love how the country shuts down for Jewish holidays, and how on Fridays even the radio broadcaster closes his show with “Shabbat Shalom.”

I love taking family trips to biblical places like Beersheba, Jerusalem and the Judean Hills, and studying the stories that took places there thousands of years ago.

Most of all, I love living in country where every stone, hilltop and flower is imbued with holiness and sanctity, with the story and heritage of my people.

Yael

 

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