31 May 2007

I left my heart...

It's 6:17 a.m. in the morning and I am awake. Why? Because it's 12:52p.m. in Jerusalem ,where I left a huge piece of my heart.
I just returned from Israel ,Wednesday afternoon ,and cannot wait to go back. Words cannot explain the beauty of the experience encompassing the land,people and passion.
Since I was a wee little lass, Israel has always intrigued me. One hears Biblical stories about the land flowing with milk and honey,and at least for me, I've always understood the religious significance of the land to Judaism.As I grew older and learned more about Israel beyond the religious , I realized that modern-day Israel is incredibly complex and still vitally important to me. No,I'm not Jewish.No, I'm not trying to speed up the Apocalypse. So why do I love Israel? Because Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. it sounds trite,but freedom is so precious. The right and ability to go to clubs and walk scantily clad along the Dead Sea? Miraculous,when you consider the rules and mores of the countries surrounding Israel. Beyond that, it's miraculous to understand the transformation of the Jewish people from Diaspora to their Destination.
There's so much I could say and will fro, time to time,but I'll leave you with this.
When you visit Israel you remember,not the military,although they are good-looking,hard-working individuals, you don't remember the increased security,although you are thankful for it,you remember the people.
I remember the men who thought I was a goddess. The little boys who weren't sure whether to say hi or not. The teenager who is unsure of his place in life,but serving in the military out of love for his extended family. The college girls who just want to live ,learn and love.
I encourage you to ask questions about the situation in Israel not only militarily but culturally. I promise to be your encyclopedia of sorts. Hopefully, in just a small way, I can get you to fall in love with Israelis and Israel.
In short- I was seduced by Israel.

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