From Survive to Thrive

I come from Survivors.

I am a thriver.

I eat the serrated green hills,
The gritty dunes,
The memory stones for breakfast

With a side of ruby kalaniot.10714390_10205160555429134_8433579450138856999_o

I brush away the tears of my grandmother’s Auschwitz,
Of Papa’s working camp,
Of pictures instead of people and of lost worlds–

With shakshuka,
With the shuk,
With a little shul, bursting in a basement, where the singing chimes of redemption.

I taste waterfalls and springs,
Stick my finger in the eye of fear in Hebron
Tuck my kids into California beds in bedrooms of controversy.

When we play hooky in holy caves
And shop and eat and argue and love after rockets and knives and resolutions

When we scrape our knees sliding down wildflower hillsides,
Dare to dream of moving lips in our holiest places and
Chip our teeth on new words in our souls’ native tongue

When we swerve from buses that count the omer and
Stand together in silence in our schools and streets and as a nation

And when we bless our son as he starts the army, loving hands trembling over his kippah

We only hope
They are watching
And that what we’ve done
That what we do
Is enough to make it worth it.


About the Author
Jessica Levine Kupferberg is a writer and former litigation attorney. She made aliyah from La Jolla, California with her family during Operation Protective Edge in July 2014 after driving across America. She blogs for the Times of Israel and her work has appeared in the Jerusalem Post,, The Jewish Journal, The Forward, Jweekly, and as part of Project 929 English, and as part of anthologies about aliyah and Covid-19.
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