Its been a year of memories and a year of growth. I've learned an ancient and yet new language, the language of my people. A language I've grown to love. A language of such great holiness, learning, and beauty and at the same time a language of markets, cell phones, and all sorts of normal daily things.
I've grown to love this place for what it is. From far north in Metula where you can ice skate at the Canada Center, all the way down south to Eilat where the parties don't stop. Taba and Aqaba beckon to you from the boardwalk in Eilat. I've seen the soaring sky scrapers of Tel Aviv and ridden on the crazy subway in Haifa. I've hiked the Golan and seen Damascus on a clear day from one of the peaks. I've lived on Kibbutzim, a place where pioneering spirit can still be found with a Labor Zionist brand. I met some of the brave ones who fought in all of Israel's wars. I've mourned the loss of their comrades on Memorial Day and had the absolute thrill to be in Rabin Square for Independence day (the day after Memorial Day.) 60 years now we've had this home of ours.
I've watched my best friend become a soldier. Its hard to believe that in a few months he will have his swearing in ceremony into Nahal. Its strange to think what his life is like. He was drafted on my birthday last year...thanks Israeli Government. I'm proud of him for all that he is doing. He's making a life for himself here.
I've seen the sights of Europe, admittadly not as much as I wanted to, but still lots of stuff. The amazing museams and artwork that takes your breath away. Strange coffee shops where a dozen different languages waft in the air. Interesting people you meet in the hostels along the way. Seeing the world.
As I write this I'm feeling homesick. Its been a long time since I've seen a lot of you reading this thing out there. I've missed so much of what's going on in the States. We're all a year older, and a year's worth of experiences has passed us by. Of course I miss my family, especially the little ones. I miss my friends who are still in various places around the country. I miss the snow and the ice. It may be wonderful here, but its not the same as where I grew up.
I miss certain familiar foods which you either can't get here or only come in strange varities here. While yet, I've come to enjoy all the amazing food that is here too. Learning to cook a new way was fun, and doing it in a different language was even more.
I've see a whole lot of stuff, met a whole lot of people, and been to quite a few places. Its been an amazing ride. Hope to hear from you all and hope you are all having a great Sukkot!