Hashem works with such beauty. Majesty really.
I’m going back to Israel after an absence of 6 years. It would just be a holiday but really it’s something a lot more meaningful. You see, I’m coming full circle.
The first time I came to Israel was on Taglit Birthright, just to please my family. It was a cheap way to get to Italy. I had no intention of falling in love. With the land, the people, and more importantly, with being a Jew. In fact when I first came I had no idea what being a Jew meant. I wore a chai, a hamsa, and a star of David a lot. That was it really.
Since then I went three more times. Each time with the courage to discover more of who I am and what is this world about. I even wrote myself a mission statement, just to make sure I was being intellectually honest with myself.
The last time I was there I knew I wanted to be “frum” but I didn’t even know what that term means (observant Jew). I didn’t know much really. Enough to commit but not enough to practice.
So now, after 6 years, I’m returning home. Home as a card carrying observant Jew. I’ve come full circle. I no longer wear a chai, a hamsa or a star of David. Not because I’m anti those things but simply because I don’t feel I need to. I am the star of David. I am the hamsa. I am the chai. I am Hashem’s soldier. My life is testament to who I am, what I believe and where I am going. I don’t look at paintings of Jewish men with long grey beards and feel nostalgia. I feel home. I feel unity. I feel my soul.
So I will visit the places I have walked before and I will smile as I did before. But this time will be different. This time I can just look back and be grateful for everything I’ve been through and everything I have, and keep walking forward with pride.