Jerusalem, my hometown: It was nice while it lasted

Soon, I will be leaving Jerusalem to go live on a moshav where, with my knitted kippa, I will join others who stand for one Israel. My soon-to-be new home is a moshav that lies right where few Israelis would care to live, squarely among the Arabs. Near our little isolated settlement that most wish wasn’t there at all, live Bedouin Arabs too.

You, the reader may find it difficult to believe but the neighboring Arabs like us. We do business with them. These Arabs tell us that they want us to stay. We are nice to them. They are nice to us. We are not afraid of them but our gate is guarded by the IDF just like other isolated settlements are and should be.

I liked living in Jerusalem. It was fun, interesting, frustrating and satisfying. It’s true, I think that you’d have to live here to really get it how it can be both. In this way, it’s quintessentially Jewish.

But, some things are not.

It’s not Jewish to betray your people and make a mockery of Justice for the sake of satisfying international interests at the expense of destroying the covenant of trust among fellow Jews, especially Jews who have lost loved ones to terror.

Nothing exemplifies Israel’s looming civic disaster quite like Bibi’s recent announcement to free terrorists. Yes, it’s Jewish and Israeli to free a thousand terrorists to get one Jew back from them. But this? It tears into shreds the very meaning and purpose of The Jewish State.

What is really going on here?

Is this the final straw that will show the world that the Arabs don’t want peace with the Jews? Who is and will be kidding who? I am no prophet but it takes no revelation from HaShem to know that Abu Mazen will only use the process to exact concessions. And, what power Bibi has already given him! They haven’t even sat down yet!

Is all this about Iran? Really? Has Bibi gotten Obama’s agreement to back him up when he unleashes the dogs the war? If so, is this the necessary price?

Where is our Jewish soul these days? Don’t we have one anymore?

I am moving to an isolated moshav. I will not lift one of my toes to ever vacate this land. The IDF will have to send in the soldiers to carry me out. The land I will be living on is Israel. It belongs to the Jews. I will NEVER agree to anything that divides HaAretz. I will defend Israel with my life.

When I first moved to Jerusalem, I didn’t realize that it would be so hard, so challenging compared to the cushy life I once lived in southern California. I didn’t understand the depths of the divides that are tearing at my beloved Israel. My heart never ached for my country like it does now. And, I’m saddened by what I see, especially how good governance takes such a back seat to self-interest and the misguided policies that endanger Israel’s security. For the first time, in our short history, we now seem to be threatened equally or more from within than from without. But, I’m more glad than ever that I came home to live in this difficult city. I’m both sorry and happy that the honeymoon is over. I guess that’s Jewish.

I won’t be that far away and I’ll have to visit Jerusalem from time to time. I have friends here. Still, I will miss living in my hometown. It was nice while it lasted.



About the Author
David Lasoff is an American Jew from Southern California. He made aliyah in May 2012 and is now the director of the department of Applied English Linguistics for the University of the Holy Land in Jerusalem. He teaches academic writing and supervises the school's English language learning programs.