I won’t lie – every time I visit Israel, I come back pining to move there. This past trip was no exception. I have an attachment to the country.
1. With my curly locks and dark skin, I fit right in.
2. I love it when hummus and tahini are acceptable foods to eat at all times of the day.
3. I love the way everything closes on Shabbat and a sense of tranquility covers the streets.
4. The mix of cultures.
5. You don’t have to travel long distances to see everything. It’s a small country, and it’s gotit all – seasides, mountains, deserts, cities, and, of course, Jerusalem
7. Feeling safer than anywhere else in the world.
8. The awesome sense of community you feel as soon your plane lands on the ground.
9. Getting off the plane and picking up your bags with groups of people praying at the wall on the way behind you as you exit out to customs.
10. The shuks, or markets, where you can buy amazing produce and crafts by artists who’ve come from all over the world.
11. Meeting people everywhere you go who are open and want to tell you their stories of how they got to Israel from their native land, and their thoughts on their new home.
12. The beaches which are the most dazzling on the planet.
14. The fruit, the cottage cheese and bread that are made on kibbutzim. Other Israeli foods include melawach, jachnun, kubaneh, shwarma, fallafel and all the eggplant salads, olives and fatouch.
15. Haifa, a gorgeous coastal city with the Bahai Gardens which are oh, so beautiful.
16. Experiencing the mystic cities of Sfat and Tiberius.
17. Experiencing any major Jewish holiday and having the whole country celebrate with you.
18. Wireless Internet everywhere, even in Ben Gurion Airport.
19. How proud everyone is to serve their country and how parents do not think twice of having their children serve in the army.
20. Speaking my minimal Hebrew and hearing from Israelis how impressive it is (well, the kids and I communicated, anyway).
21. Hanging out in Eilat, the southern most tip of Israel, with beaches that are out of this world.
22. Letting my kids run and play freely in the parks around my flat in Raanana.
23. Feeling flustered and lost on the highway and while stopped in traffic, the guy next to me rolled down his window and offered his assistance.
24. Feeling the history of not only the land, but the people, who have come from far and near escaping persecution to settle here.
25. Having a sense of pride for how far the country has come in the mere 62 years it has existed in this world.