I write this as we approach Israel’s 70th birthday.

Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing in this country; with its severe financial hardships and scary ever-present enemies.
Sometimes I ask myself if raising children here is the right thing to do.
Sometimes I question whether or not living in Israel really is all that and if we couldn’t get everything we have here, somewhere else.
Sometimes I envy friends in chu”l who can afford basics that we struggle to buy.
Sometimes I think life would have been way easier back in England or even in the US.

Sometimes my fourthgrader tells me that when he and a friend got stuck studying for a test on קדושים, they just “turned to the Rashi for help and figured it out.”
Sometimes my first-grader makes a Yom Haatzmaut ceremony out of Lego.
Sometimes I watch my kids read Hebrew more fluently than I do now even though I have had 15 years more Hebrew learning than they have.
Sometimes I go the supermarket before Yom Haatzmaut and find blue-and-white marshmallows in place of their pink-and-white counterparts.
Sometimes I get chocolate coins from the hotel receptionist when I ask for a new key card over Chanukah in Eilat.
And sometimes I’m told by some random individual that it’s halachically time to take down my Israeli flag.

Sometimes I see kids in the park playing Chayei Sara.
Sometimes I wait in a breast clinic and meet someone whose family I knew back in England.
Sometimes I go to the beach on Tel Aviv over Pesach and sit with people who on yom tov are blasting their stereos while eating matzah.
Sometimes I shop in my local fruit store on a Friday and their CD mix is playing Shalom Aleichem.
And sometimes the Arab worker says “Baruch Hashem,” when the rain finally starts.

Sometimes though I’m scared.
Sometimes I wonder why my everyday drive to work has my car sandwiched between two Palestinian vehicles.
Sometimes I get nervous going into my local branch of Rami Levi, which has been the location of too many terrorist attacks.
Sometimes I worry when my mum tells me she’s going to take a walk to the mall in Netanya.
And most of the time I feel sick at the thought of my boys serving in the army.

Sometimes though I wonder how — even with all this — I could live anywhere else.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to raise my children in a place where the calendar was just the Gregorian one.
And most of the time I think — no, I believe — that making aliyah when I did has played a very small part in the creation of the next Jewish, Zionist and proudly Israeli generation.