Am I an Israeli yet?

I make aliah. I receive my Israeli teudat zehut (i.d. card), I sign up for kupat cholim (health plan), go to ulpan and learn perfect Hebrew. I buy or rent an apartment and furnish it. I travel abroad using an Israeli passport.

Am I an Israeli yet? Do I feel like one?

I study at university. I serve in the army and in miluim (reserves). I marry an Israeli. My children are born here and serve in the army. We speak Hebrew at home.

Am I an Israeli yet? Do I feel like one?

I take part in a war. We spend time in bunkers during sirens and rocket attacks. We suffer while waiting for news from our children in the front.

Am I an Israeli yet? Do I feel like one?

I get a job for the Jewish Agency, they send me abroad for several years to represent Israel.

Am I an Israeli yet? Do I feel like one?

My foreign upbringing will always be a part of me. My foreign accent will never leave me. I still think and dream in my native language.

So yes, I’ve been an Israeli for many years already. But I only started to feel like an Israeli when I realized that most Israelis are people like me – people with a foreign accent who think and dream in a foreign language – who chose to make Israel their home and to participate in this adventure that is life in Israel.

Song by Shlomo Yidov – “At night I still dream in Spanish”

About the Author
David Wolf writes about his experience of being a second-time husband and father. He has a daughter from his first marriage, and, with his second wife, has accrued three daughters, two sons-in-law, one grandchild and twin 8-year-old sons. He is a social worker in a mental health department and in private practice in Raanana.
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