Emma Sass
Grateful to be Grateful

Sometimes: A Reflection of Life in Israel

I write this as we approach Israel’s 70th birthday.

Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing in this country; with its severe financial hardships and scary ever-present enemies.
Sometimes I ask myself if raising children here is the right thing to do.
Sometimes I question whether or not living in Israel really is all that and if we couldn’t get everything we have here, somewhere else.
Sometimes I envy friends in chu”l who can afford basics that we struggle to buy.
Sometimes I think life would have been way easier back in England or even in the US.

Sometimes my fourthgrader tells me that when he and a friend got stuck studying for a test on קדושים, they just “turned to the Rashi for help and figured it out.”
Sometimes my first-grader makes a Yom Haatzmaut ceremony out of Lego.
Sometimes I watch my kids read Hebrew more fluently than I do now even though I have had 15 years more Hebrew learning than they have.
Sometimes I go the supermarket before Yom Haatzmaut and find blue-and-white marshmallows in place of their pink-and-white counterparts.
Sometimes I get chocolate coins from the hotel receptionist when I ask for a new key card over Chanukah in Eilat.
And sometimes I’m told by some random individual that it’s halachically time to take down my Israeli flag.

Sometimes I see kids in the park playing Chayei Sara.
Sometimes I wait in a breast clinic and meet someone whose family I knew back in England.
Sometimes I go to the beach on Tel Aviv over Pesach and sit with people who on yom tov are blasting their stereos while eating matzah.
Sometimes I shop in my local fruit store on a Friday and their CD mix is playing Shalom Aleichem.
And sometimes the Arab worker says “Baruch Hashem,” when the rain finally starts.

Sometimes though I’m scared.
Sometimes I wonder why my everyday drive to work has my car sandwiched between two Palestinian vehicles.
Sometimes I get nervous going into my local branch of Rami Levi, which has been the location of too many terrorist attacks.
Sometimes I worry when my mum tells me she’s going to take a walk to the mall in Netanya.
And most of the time I feel sick at the thought of my boys serving in the army.

Sometimes though I wonder how — even with all this — I could live anywhere else.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to raise my children in a place where the calendar was just the Gregorian one.
And most of the time I think — no, I believe — that making aliyah when I did has played a very small part in the creation of the next Jewish, Zionist and proudly Israeli generation.


About the Author
At 48 years old, Emma Sass is blessed to be the most content she has ever been.