Let me be honest. Leaving Israel to come back to America for the summer was not easy. On many levels. I was scared it would have a negative impact on my children that spent a year acclimating to a new country. And truthfully I spent a year making Israel my home, putting my heart and soul into it. I didn’t want to give that up for 8 weeks. I also didn’t know.. How do I blog from America if my blog name is Tova in Israel? That’s where the title for this post came from.. “Tova in Israel.. In America.”
But we came to the decision that it’s important for the kids to see family that didn’t follow us to Israel. My elderly grandparents had a very hard time with us leaving them. Forget about me, their first grandchild, but rather taking three of their great-grandchildren so far away from them. My parents would FaceTime with the kids, but it is really only a substitute for the real thing. Nothing can really replace natural face to face conversations. It was also hard for me to not have the opportunity to meet 3 new adorable nephews that were born in the States.
So at this moment, I’ve been back in America for 12 days. I’ve resumed my summer job as head of a day camp, reunited with so many friends, and spent incredible quality time with family. But as much as I’m enjoying my time, all I can think about is Israel.
All I think about are the tragic terrorist attacks that happened there recently. How can I not be in Israel on the ground? To show the world that this is my rightful land. I’m sad to not be in the country where it happened. To be where that’s all everyone you encounter is feeling and thinking about. It’s spoken about in America. But it feels different. It feels removed. I don’t want to feel removed. I want to be in Israel.
Then my daughter heard about what happened. Because there’s no hiding these events anymore. As much as I’d love to keep my kids sheltered, it doesn’t work like that. She knows, so I need to reassure. I always tell her that her bed is the safest place. But when she found out that a girl, Hallel Ariel, a couple years older than her, was stabbed to death in her bed, she started sobbing. Questioning. Mind racing. I just held her close. Cuddling her until she calmed down. It’s not fair. It’s appaling that a 13 year old could be brutally murdered. For being a Jew. For a father to be gunned down in his car while driving his family along the highway peacefully. For people to be eating in a restaurant to be shot and killed. These vicious terrorist attacks are not normal. They shouldn’t be happening. And all I want is to go back. To go back to my home.
I explained that to my daughter. I told her that it’s our land. We shouldn’t feel scared in our home. We need to go back and say, “How dare you try to kill us!”
So even though I love spending time with family and friends, shopping, and working, Israel is my home. Now and Forever. And I am counting down the days until I return. But I’ll enjoy the time here in America, while I’m here.