To my beloved: we met so long ago. You were young, a mere 22, a proud creature, filled with ideals and ideas and stretching high for a long and productive future I was a tad older, a youngish mother with four little ones. I was married but faithful when I fell in love with you. You were everything I had ever dreamed of. And so, all these years later, you still fulfill my dreams.
You are not perfect as I’ve learned. Neither am I by the way. But I find, as lovers do, your imperfections to be quirky or redeeming. You are adorable. So adorable that even when I rant and rave about your flaws, I still love you and always forgive you. As I hope you forgive me!
I just came in from one of your precious and adorable traffic jams. How can I put an affectionate light on that form of torture? When we first met it was common to see horses and buggies interwoven with the much smaller number of cars, and the much smaller cars, on the much fewer major highways.The horses are no longer working. Now they are sport. But planning a journey is always unpredictable or impossible, even with the help of your brilliant offspring WAZE. So I find it so amazing and wonderful that you are now wealthy enough and successful enough to have roads packed with enormous numbers of cars, mostly new, and mostly as big and grand as their American cousins.
And speaking of navigating your streets and highways, wherever did all those traffic circles and speed humps come from? They are like dandelions! Suddenly sprouting all over the land. I never knew them and now they are everywhere.
Not to mention the zebras! Pedestrians are everywhere and your folk do follow the rules, usually. Just some of those with more chutzpah plunge right into the crosswalk with their rights of way forgetting the ton of steel with its daydreaming nahag. But, in your wisdom you are trying so hard to make the roads safe. Here I have a suggestion: get rid of the motorcycles!.
I find it truly mesmerizing and beautiful and ever so artistic that you, only you, have made veritable works of art out of building cranes. Who else would have thought of that! At night, the cranes that are densely populating your cities and towns are imaginatively lit. It’s moonglow at its finest. It’s the museum of the night and the skies are dreamy and majestic and beautiful. How did you think of something so spectacular?
But, look my love, what you’ve done with your most prosaic item, the supermarket shopping cart. Only you my dear one. Only you. You’ve figured out a way for all of us to return those carts to their points of origin. You make us deposit a hefty five shekels so that we will be sure to return each of them. And, dayeinu, you’ve made them all pull to the left so no one would possibly want to steal one. Clever little thing you are.
Your telephone systems are so advanced, so much more so than in my country of origin, My Country Tis of Thee. Imagine that when I phone someone whose phone is engaged, I get an instant quick click so I know to call back later. So so smart. And those numbers that start with an asterisk followed by four digits. Unforgettable!
Maybe less brilliant, but still endearing are your English street signs. There must be a contest going for the most creative ways to spell my town, Herzliya! You make me laugh!
You did something really amazing for senior citizens. Tuesday at the movies. Ten shekels! Oooh I really love you for that! It’s fun to count the gray hairs on Tuesday at Cinema City. Billions of them! Many my own.
But, when it comes to remembering, you are your most powerful. You decided that nothing could be as meaningful as a siren. Yom Ha Shoa. Yom Ha Zikaron. Yom Ha Atzmaut. A nation stands silently and ponders its past, present and future. Simply breathtaking.
And so my love, it is almost time to give you my message. Now, as you are embraced by flags on your buildings and cars and cranes, and everywhere the eye will gaze,I want to tell you that I love you. I ache for those who sacrificed their lives and loves to bring our people together in your holy land. I pray for you to be a land of blessing and peace, now and forever. I simply need to say Happy Birthday Israel, Yom Huledet Sameach!