What does that mean..anonymity ?
Can we hide. Should we be found. What are we looking for. What does anonymous mean to you.
As Jews we can never be totally anonymous. We apparently stand out!
So we try to be stand out folks. True global humanitarians and innovators. Despite hatred, anti semitism, rained upon with rockets, attacked and accused regularly throughout time.
In the USA , I can feel moments of anonymity. I am sure that many of us know that feeling. We have to make the effort to be connected to Jewish life. It does not surround us, We must seek it to be a part of it. We have to look for it.
I am very proudly involved, and very connected to my local and extended Jewish community, involved in many of its facets, and especially involved in all things Israel.
In Israel, even if we are off doing our own thing, this feeling of anonymity, it never permeates. It does not exist. WE are with our brethren, our people, our nation. WE walk the streets of a tumultuous yet proud history. As my close friend put it; there we are in the warp and woof of Jewish life .
We eat with them, we ride taxis with them, they are around us, they talk to us, they invite us into their lives, we are surrounded. There is this… vibe.
It is a special feeling, even if one wants to be a bit anonymous, get some work done, you can do your own thing, yet still feel completely embraced.
What can we do to bridge this. We in North America will never be Israel. We are spread out.
But how can we reach out and be reached.
How can we bring that bigger connect to our brethren, because we are brothers everywhere.
I am always encouraging our youth, and truthfully everyone to go to Israel. Go. Go experience “The life changing magic of visiting Israel”. See your land, be inspired, connect, know your roots, make Israel a part of your life, a vision, a goal. Know its different faces.
I am always excited when I meet people who are travelling to Israel for the very first time, and I am often saddened by those who want to go so badly, the years are passing by, but they simply do not have the funds to go. I want to find ways to alleviate that challenge for them .
I recall reading an article a few months ago in a Philadelphia Jewish newspaper. It was about a young man, a student, who chose a more remote college, a location that had very little Jewish life. At the time it was not relevant to him, he did not think to seek out more, it was not a part of his landscape, nor his life. Somehow he ended up at a Jewish activity on or around campus, and found out about a Birthright trip. He decided to go to Israel on this trip. And then his life changed. He was no longer anonymous. He no longer felt hidden from his roots. His life took a new turn, and suddenly he found himself looking for more, And now he suddenly was meeting new challenges of incorporating his newfound Judaism and Israel connect into his very micro Jewish life college. Here he was and he made it work. And now he was the stand out Jewish person on campus, and now he was connected and proud, and eventually he searched for more connect, and spent more time in Israel as well. He went to a small place, and found a big place in his life. He came out of anonymity. He was not hidden anymore, and his roots were no longer hidden from him and those that were around him.
Don’t be anonymous . Stand out, stand up, cross that bridge, join your people. BTW the food is great ! Put the politics aside , your life will take on on a whole new meaning, and YES it is a whole other embrace. And then it is always with you. If you have been there, then you know..share. This Israel, is your our place. Keep that place deep in your hearts. Make it truly a part of your life.