This Is Israel
By Rachel Raizel Schonberger
My love for Israel... the land and the people.... whether born in Israel or an Oleh Hadash (male) or like me.... an Olah Hadasha (female) .... grows deeper and stronger each day!
I love seeing mezuzah's on the majority of buildings .... every type of store, hospitals, the central bus station, the gates to the Old City, apartment buildings....! No matter what the personal Torah involvement or level of observance.... this is a given!
Even wearing a kippa.... at least half of the Jewish men I see wear one out in the public eye.... unafraid to be who they are.... a Jew.
Many women wear head coverings... scarves, hats, wigs.... this is normal.... along with all of the other facets of life styles.
I love going to a wine festival with over 30 vendors and the majority of the wines are Kosher!
This is Israel. A land of multi-cultures .... varying observances ..... deep commitment.... enormous chesed (kindness)..... caring for one another on a level that I have not experienced anywhere else!
Each day and moment that I become more involved and familiar and get to know this land... my land..... and the people.... my people.... the deeper "in love" I grow....
Like a seed that is planted in the ground... and as its inner-self breaks through the shell... through the barrier that surrounds it... all of its surroundings absorb into it and it starts to become one with what is around it..... as it grows and branches out with roots that seek out more and deeper nourishment and strength and connection!
So I surround myself with what I want to be like, along with such beauty with which I can connect! I cannot stop myself from thanking everyone both here in Israel and in the diaspora for this experience of living in our one and only Jewish State!