I am Zionist

Photo: Aliyah, The Rebirth of Israel, by Salvador Dali
Photo: Aliyah, The Rebirth of Israel, by Salvador Dali

I am a Jew who believes in my right to have a home.  Who refuses to give in to the wishes of those who hate and simply roam.

I am human, I feel joy, pain & sorrow. Of flesh & blood I too dream of a brighter tomorrow.

I am a husband, I am a father I am a friend, I am the hope of my ancestors, that their long & painful journey would finally see an end.

I am connected to this place, this land that has seen much war, yet few could really comprehend what all that fighting was for.

But I know why they fight, all my people understand, that the fighting is more about who we are than the mystique of this land.

She is indeed a magical place, at least from our point of view. The place where we learned to be thankful for life and celebrate the new.

To understand our holidays, our faith and our seasons, one must look to Zion to comprehend the reasons.

If they do, they will see our roots run deep within the land, from our very beginnings, our history can be found, buried within the sand.

Flowing with milk and honey, our beautiful land was once described, a place for our family, our nation….our tribes.

Many came to conquer, but few have ever stayed. An uninhabitable land that would never be worth the blood that was paid.

The Romans killed the forests, and made sure her fields were fallow. This led to the rivers drying up, and her lakes becoming shallow.

A desert appeared. The sand and dust consuming the green, left our ancestral home inhospitable and mean.

They changed its name, to humiliate my kind. Taking a page from our first king’s foe, they called it Palestine.

But to us it was the ‘Eretz’, Judea & Israel of old, and from the moment we left we ensured her stories were told.

For thousands of years my people prayed to return, ‘in the right time’, and the right year they knew it had to be earned.

They suffered through horrors most cannot comprehend. Holocausts, Inquisitions & pogroms designed to bring us to our end.

Through the millennia, through the torture, through the strife, there was one constant that shined bright in their life.

It was our home, our land, the object of our love.  The place where we built our Temple to honor the One above.

Our stories, our prayers and our songs are a sign to the world for what our collective heart longs.

It was never a secret, our goal was always clear, to one day come back to our land, to live life without fear.

Fear that we will be subjugated, denigrated and vilified, fear that one day we will finally succumb to genocide.

So, we packed our bags and began the migration home. No longer will we wander the world, no longer will be have to be alone.

From all over the world we came to rebuild our land, lives and our station. And soon the world agreed we deserved to once again be a nation.

Passing through hands of emperors, sultans and queens, now it was our time to finally fulfill our people’s dreams.

We fixed the land, we replanted the trees. We grew crops to feed the cows and serve as home to the bees.

The milk then returned with the honey so sweet, it took only 73 years to accomplish this feat.

In that time, our light has shined bright even though nations refuse to see, our contributions to the world, and how all our citizens live free.

We healed the earth, brought life to it once more, if only people knew how it truly looked before.

If they did, they would know the true caretakers did return, to turn this land into a beacon and for the light to forever burn.

There are those who still rise up against us, spread lies and sow hate, but to be exiled again will not our fate.

They demonize us for defending our very right to exist, and they applaud every violent act and advocate for more people to ‘resist’.

We have seen war, we have seen terror, we have seen the worst of mankind. And we still stand here with open arms, hearts and minds.

What we built on this land for all the world to see, is a testament to spirit and drive and what humanity can be.

We are here for good, to live our lives out in peace and with love. Despite the threats of violence and missiles from above.

This is our home, and she is the essence of our being. Never Again will there be scenes of us fleeing.

This is our home, the land at the center of our heart, not another day from it will we be apart.

I am a Jew, a Man a Human who loves the home of his People, his Nation his State.

I am Zionist.

About the Author
Jay Engelmayer is a husband and father of four. Professionally his focus has been digital marketing and business development for commercial products. A proud and unapologetic American-Israeli Zionist, he enjoys cooking and yelling at television screens. Some consider him argumentative in nature, although he prefers the term "purposeful cynic" when describing his disposition. Living in Israel, he hails from New York City and is glad he left before it became the 1970's redux it is today.
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