To my friends who encouraged me to write a blog about my 6 month travel experience in Israel with my wife.
Well, it’s been a little over a month and I thought I’d post a little recap about what I love about Jerusalem/Israel so far…
I love that:
Just about every elderly Israeli you encounter carries with them some of the most amazing stories – from fighting in three wars to escaping the holocaust yet STILL, they are some of the warmest people you’ll ever meet.
That we’ve now had three, THREE, of our taxi drivers invite us over for Shabbat dinner or offer their home to us. There was also the one that asked if I was hungry and wanted to stop for shawarma on the way to the airport. Naturally, I obliged.
That even though there is perpetual conflict, there is also a continuous effort to promote peace and hope from the brave and optimistic. My wife included.
And that even in the face of the threat of violence, day in and day out, ordinary people continue living their lives and refusing to give into fear, focusing on THIS moment, right now.
That the feeling of people genuinely wanting to make the world a better place is palpable here. And that the chase for wealth and status is NOT the norm. Instead, depth trumps superficiality and selflessness trumps ego.
That even though Israel has its share of internal problems, like anywhere else, it almost feels like you’re working at a start-up when moments of, “I can help fix that!” cross your mind.
That your family that lives here whom you’ve physically met maybe a handful of times in your life, feels like they’ve always been your close family and treats you as such.
That everyone has a story and they want to know yours–whether you want to share it with them or not.
That it’s better for someone to yell at you, and in the same interaction smile and laugh with you than pretend to be fake just so they don’t offend you. Interactions feel more real here.
That most of the people who come here are often searching for something deeper in their lives. And that just being here in what can sometimes feel like a struggle is more rewarding because of the sense of purpose it offers.
That this entire country could be cast for a part in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And they alllll want to adopt you and have you move here.
That in a matter of a couple of hours driving you can be in the Negev Desert or the lush green mountains of the Golan or the sprawling beaches of Tel Aviv or the historic mountains of ancient Jerusalem.
That wine lovers are about to have a serious wakeup call when they realize that the world’s ORIGINAL wine makers are finally back to producing some of world’s BEST wine today. Oh, it’s serious.
That when you live in a country the size of New Jersey and you’re somehow connected by less than six degrees of separation, the term “small world” is a huge understatement.
That when I walk to the Kotel (western wall) on Saturday afternoon with my wife, the sense of awe that my ancestors once built (and rebuilt) one of the greatest civilizations mankind has ever seen in this very place, never gets boring. And that we’re picking up where they left off.
That here, you truly can tap into this feeling that everything in this world is interconnected.
That every step you take in this country likely has been walked upon before you, thousands of times, over thousands of years by almost every major civilization in history.
And that OUR steps that we take today in this land could arguably be some of the most important, and meaningful, ever.
So yalla! Book your trip already!