Floating – A love story

It was four years ago that I first approached the Dead Sea. I had waited for Chana to leave the beach and return to our room before I took my dip so that I could go in slowly alone, and there wouldn’t be any ‘credible’ witnesses to my comical lack of fortitude.

I never really learned how to swim, and though the salt content of this body of water was so high it would – legend had it – allow even the most unskilled at the art of buoyancy to succeed, I guess there was part of me that wasn’t completely buying it. I thought perhaps I’d be the one exception – a footnote that would find its way into a geology textbook someday.

As a child I nearly drowned in a pool after being told that all I needed to do was kick my legs to stay afloat. It didn’t work. I let go of the side of the pool, and I kicked and kicked and kicked, but promptly descended directly to the bottom.

Until I met Chana, I was similarly skeptical about ever finding that one true love.¬†I had indeed been in-love, but there was always something missing. Perhaps, I feared, I just didn’t have what it took.

Prior to making Aliyah, friends expressed a confidence that I would indeed find ”her” in Israel – that it was in Jerusalem¬†where my destiny awaited. And, sure, part of me wanted to believe it, but I nonetheless remained unconvinced.

But Chana was different than anyone I had ever known. Though she was more religious than I, considerably younger and from another part of the world, after only a few weeks (and several incredible dates) I simply ”knew” her.

A few weeks later we had fallen in love.

As a couple we simply “worked”. She was warm, attractive and just plain decent – the most genuine and sincere person I had ever known. And, when she smiles – oh, when she smiles – it’s as if her soul is simply radiating joy. I had no doubts about who she was inside. There was no dark side artfully hidden beneath the surface.

In Chana I had finally met my beshert.

Yet, there was still a tiny part of me which held on to old notions – held hostage by that crippling fear that it couldn’t possibly be real, that my soul would somehow not abide by the immutable laws of pure love.

I slowly went into the mineral rich water. First, I just stood there, with the water covering only my feet, looking out towards the sea. I spent a few minutes enjoying the site of others around me confidently, effortlessly floating.

It took another 20 minutes before I finally summoned the courage to close my eyes and fall backwards. Miraculously, my body, indeed all of me, was gently resting on top of the water.

Though I was only in the Dead Sea for a few minutes, I no longer had any doubts.

Chana and I were married in the spring.

About the Author
Adam Levick serves as Managing Editor of CiF Watch, a CAMERA affiliate. He has published essays for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, The Algemeiner, The Jewish Chronicle, The Jewish Press, (South African) Jewish Affairs and PJ Media. Adam made Aliyah in 2009 and lives in Modi'in.
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