Elyssa Frank
the #NYerLostInTheMiddleEast . . .

Pandemic Profundity & My Solidarity Confinement

the most Israeli thing I have ever made & eaten!!!

Before I forget, I just need to share. . .
As someone alone, in a foreign country, with embarrassingly not a grip of the language nor metric system

I’m enduring a pandemic,
as a Jew, in a Jewish country.

It’s truly profound.
I’m alone, with only my senses and my non-stop, wildly, creative mind . . .

I have not been able to physically celebrate any Jewish/Israeli holidays,
AND to physically, be in ISRAEL,
with all these senses,
the sounds, the feeling, the flags so proudly waving out of the windows. . .
how Jewish is that

Its a surreal, unexplainable feeling.

As an immigrant, as a lover of this country,
I find awe-inspiring beauty in enduring one of the most challenging, mind-altering moments in my life. . .
with truly only one thing-

My biggest love, my Israel.

Its been quite a dysfunctional relationship for waaay too long. I was confused by the messengers. . . the big egos-

And then a disaster hits the world. . .
And im frightened by my neighbor’s actions. . .
when I have the strength to look beyond that which terrifies me. . .

There truly is a sense of Ahm Yisroel Chai, I dont know how to explain myself in words. . . its a feeling, its a taste, its a sound, its my Israel. . . and everyone has one of their own. .

finally, I received a bit of help,
there were some super stressful days & I realize the kindness may not be from my next-door neighbor nor someone I know, but, Israel and the government is truly dealing with this pandemic like EVERY SINGLE LIFE MATTERS!! (eventually)

I think, if there was a time I had ever felt Israeli, it would be right now. . . I have had more tahina, grape leaves, canned corn, basmati rice, couscous, Turkish coffee & canned tuna dropped at my door by masked souls than I ever imagined. . I’m learning about a culture I was locked out of for years. . The food. . .
I feel all alone yet, I now have a gourmet shop to cook Israeli dishes. Or, at least, Army-Israeli gourmet dishes  (the closest ill ever get to the army)

From dancing with my neighbors on Passover Eve,
who I don’t know by face,
standing by my window all alone, listening to that heart-breaking Yom HaShoah siren with the entire country,  or smiling at every new blossom I see on the street,
& waking in the last few days to the roars of plane engines sounding like they are about to crash my head practicing for the upcoming incredibly, emotional hospital flyover for our Independence day
to every one of those beautiful blue & white flags being draped out a window & slowing dancing in the wind. . .

For me, this is a remarkable humbling, mind-blowing, profound creative & heart-breaking time in my life that Im actually sharing with the love of my life. . .
my Israel

so, yeah, i guess I’m not alone, after all. . .

About the Author
Elyssa Frank arrives in Tel Aviv with more than fifteen years NYC broadcasting experience. You can listen to her podcast, "Short Hills Live in the Middle East"- on Facebook. You may have seen Elyssa on-camera hosting & guesting on the English website of Israel Hayom Insider, where she created her own show, "Hot, hip & NOW", introducing the Anglo audience to interesting Israelis on the cutting edge of fashion, art & technology. She is an award-winning voiceover talent with global credits, as well as Union affiliation. (Sag/Aftra) Elyssa is most known as the voice that changed the way we look at internet speed; she introduced high-speed online to NYC with multiple award-winning spots. She is a trained NYC actress with off-broadway credits, as well as national on-camera spots. When she's not in a studio & in front of a mic, you can find Elyssa avidly crossing the Mediterranean where she holds the position of "#urban mermaid."
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