Valentine’s Day is approaching. Even Israel isn’t exempt from the commercialization of secular holidays. I was recently walking through a popular mall in Yerushalayim and noticed all the pinks and reds, hearts and stuffed teddy bears, the chocolate kisses and red roses. My first thought was “Am I in an American mall or an Israeli one?” But then I thought, love is love. What’s the difference? So, I personally might not celebrate Valentine’s Day, it doesn’t mean others can’t. In fact, the mall looked really pretty and so cheerful. And in today’s day in Israel and the world at large, that’s the type of message that should be spread- regardless of its origin- the message of love.
There is too much hatred in the world to be upset over hearts and chocolate candies. If the whole world loved each other, we wouldn’t be scared to just walk around. Truth is, I’m not as scared as I was. I’m getting used to being vigilant and prepared. We need to live life. And live it to its fullest potential. And don’t waste our days away.
While I was window shopping in the mall, I noticed other things too. I noticed people of every nationality sitting side by side in cafes and restaurants eating the best foods Israel has to offer. I noticed conversations and tried to pick up on the accent, so I don’t sound so silly when I speak in my broken Hebrew- I really am getting better at it though, and no I was not eavesdropping! I saw Chayalim walking through, maybe enjoying a break, or maybe patrolling. And I noticed all the beautiful clothing and shoes I would love to buy- impressed that Israel is totally up to date with the fashion trends.
What really stuck out beyond all the pink and red were the signs- in Hebrew. Because even though Valentine’s was all over the forefront of the mall, looking beyond, there were stores selling Shabbat items, welcome signs, home décor- all in Hebrew. And it hit me: I’m in Israel. I’m walking through a mall in Israel. Sometimes I want to rub my eyes and believe that it’s actually true. It’s a dream I never want to wake up from. Others might think that it’s silly for me to get excited over seeing signs in Hebrew, but I don’t think so. I absolutely love living in a Jewish Homeland with Hebrew as the nationally spoken language. I love it!
And the main takeaway point is, the mall was full. Israel is thriving. The world wants to break Israel down- but the Israelis don’t give in to terror or threats. Israelis live. Israel will always live. So even though Valentine’s is a secular holiday, big deal. Love is what matters. And Israel needs to feel the Love. They need to feel the love from within, and the love from abroad. So eat a chocolate kiss to show your love for Israel. Because Israel loves you!
Feel free to add messages of Love to Israel in the comment section as well! 😉