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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Post Battle

Avishai returned home today. Seems that he was in the middle of everything that was happening on the NOrthern border last week, from the attempted kidnapping of the soldiers to the actions afterwards, when they went into Lebanon to hunt for the terrorists who had been involved in the attempted kidnapping.

So what is his assessment? "It was the most interesting night of my life. It was so much fun! I was great...". What is it about men and their lust for action? Shortly, Avishai will be going to Jenin, which is "the most fun". HUH?

I always say psalms for all my children, every day. But somewhere, I believe what we're supposed to believe, that on Yom Kippur, God decides what will happen to everyone. And staying out of danger's way is not going to keep Avishai, or anyone else, safe. So truth to tell, I don't even worry, though I wish that they'd let him sleep a little more!

I can't believe that it's December already. (OK, tomorrow). It seems like the days fly by. I'm so tired by the end of each day, I'm lucky if I can hold out until 10:00pm....I usually go to bed around 9:00p.m., right after I put Margalit to sleep, and try to read a bit, though generally, I fall asleep with the book in my hand.

Then, of course, I am up at 6:15a.m., like it or not. That's when my alarm clock goes off -- not the electronic kind, but Jenny, whose bladder can't hold out beyond 6:15a.m. That's nice on weekdays, when 6:15 is a good time to get up, if I'm going to get things moving in the house. But on Shabbat? 6:15a.m.? Do all pet owners have their schedules determined by their pets?

Today at work, another couple of tourists, these from Nashville, asked me the question that I must answer about 3 dozen times each year -- why am I here? What made me come to live in Israel? Why do I stay?

It's actually interesting, because on some level, it forces me to reevaluate, each time I'm asked, what my reasons are for being here. Sure, I came because it was romantic and I was idealistic about living here. Sure, I was a Zionist, and loved the country. But why do I stay? Especially now, when it would be so nice to have family around to help me raise my children as I deal with everything alone.

And each time, I come back to the same simple answer...I am home. I am no longer idealistic, no longer romantic about living here, and certainly no longer a Zionist. Living in Israel, as the Hebrew expression goes, "sucks the juice out of you". The government, both on a local and national level, is corrupt and not at all democratic (of course, that's true in America too)people can be rude and difficult, earning a living is much more of a struggle than it is in the States....and on and on and on.

But this is home for me. I love the country, the people (even the rude ones), the traditions and customs, the arguments, and the varied ways of seeing a living Judaism. I am grateful to be a part of the process and of the nation, and hope that nothing will happen to dull that.

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