Having made aliyah two years ago from my cozy little town in Northern England, where we really were the only Jews in the village — I really threw myself in the deep end. But instead of an overwhelming sense of drowning, I had convinced myself that I was just blissfully submerged.
The sudden realisation that I didn’t know how to swim in these deep waters was painful and suffocating. I was trying to get to the shore while the tide was continuously working against me.
It was once funny that everyone was screaming at each other in the streets, until they started screaming at me. At first it was charming to me how strong headed and determined everyone here is, until I wasn’t. A time when I would tolerate and even welcome the sweet waiter answering me in English because they could see I was struggling, until I learned their language.
I stumbled across a blog post I wrote when I was living here a few summers ago as a volunteer and it really hit me that I loved this country, hell, I still do. However most of you are sick of hearing it, and you know what, I am a little sick of saying it.
I feel like I was offered a free eye test, that I was convinced I didn’t need, but I went anyway. Only to walk away with a prescription that I didn’t even know I needed. The first time I put my glasses on everything looked so different.
A little less magical.
Fighting to be here is exhausting. With the number of people asking “What were you thinking?!” ever increasing, I took the time to try and help them understand. Israel, is family, she is my little sister. Therefore I wasn’t “thinking” at all. Because it doesn’t matter what you think about your little sister, it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks of your little sister either. It matters only how you feel so let me tell you just how I feel about my little sister;
- SHE IS SO ANNOYING.
- She does things that embarrass me.
- She gets on every single one of my nerves (circa 1 trillion).
- She is passionate.
- She can be so cold, but she’s always warm hearted.
- She is beautiful, even on the days she makes me so angry I can’t even look at her.
- She is SO dramatic.
- She is inspirational. Even during the darkest times, she shines brightly.
- It is only okay when I say bad things about her.
- Her independence that goes hand in hand with her stubbornness, is unbreakable.
- All that she is, she has learned, and usually the hard way.
- She is MY little sister, and I would fight tooth and nail to protect her.
And just like that I, in turn, began to understand that working against a force of nature would only make me weaker. I began to swim with the tide instead of against it. I yelled back at the people in the streets until they understood that I too am a force to be reckoned with. And I answered back that waiter in (almost) perfect Hebrew.
She is MY little sister, and I would fight tooth and nail to protect her.