Like yin and yang, so much of our homeland can be defined by what is feminine and what is masculine. The curve of the mountains, enveloped in a fading sunset. The dead sea, salty, fragrant flowers, the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, art, beauty, spiritually, and healing.

And then there is the IDF; strong impenetrable and determined. Shwarma, aggressive drivers, the smoking, nightclubs, and endless bombings.

You take the good with the bad in Israel (as is true anywhere).

According to Wikipedia: ‘a homeland may also be referred to as a fatherland, a motherland, or a mother country, depending on the culture and language of the nationality in question’.

If this is true, it seems Israel can be defined by either because it has so many elements of masculine and feminine in it; just as we humans do. Is it a fatherland because Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaacov are laid to rest there or a motherland because Sarah, Rochel, Rivka, and Leah are?

Is it a fatherland because the archaeological evidence is full of ancient temples built by men, the ten commandments brought to the people from Moses the most humble man that ever lived or a motherland because mothers are ones to perpetuate the Jewish people?

Perhaps it is both and this is why it is mostly thought of as our homeland. After all, isn’t Russia what we think of when we say motherland and Germany a typical fatherland?

This is why I think definitions can get a little confusing sometimes. We can’t forsake the forest for the trees. Just as we have a little of both ‘yin and yang’ in us, so too with everything. What I believe intuitively, is that Israel is made up of both elements and that is why it is ultimately our homeland. Objectively anyone can see it as more masculine or more feminine, but ultimately it is what G-d intended. A homeland for the Jewish people, both male and female.