I wanna go to Is-reeee-al.
One hour past his bedtime, Peach was wailing in his room. “I wanna go to Is-reeee-al.”
Me too, Peach.
Each year, in honour of Yom Ha’Atzmau’t, our preschool creates an Israel simulation with the intention of instilling an Israel connection in our Diaspora kids.
And it works. It’s worked with all three of our children, none of whom have yet been to Israel. They all talk about visiting Israel as an inevitability. In the same way that my parents spoke of it to me and the rest of the Giraffes. Israel was part of their life experience and would be part of ours as well. And so…in November of my high school junior year, I left for an “eight-week academic experience” at the Alexander Muss High School in Israel (Hadassim campus). That one decision made by my parents sealed a love affair that, up until that moment, had existed only in theory. On a foundation of romanticized stories of chalutzim, horas, and tractors, I, like many of my generation, enjoyed a superficial relationship with our Homeland.
Amy, over at Homeshuling, wrote it best:
We had our blue pushkes, our Ktonton books, and our elderly neighbors coming home with terribly strange kibbutz hats. We learned to sing Hatikvah the wrong way, and practiced songs and dances that no real Israeli had done in decades. We celebrated and loved an idea of Israel that was largely an ideal of Israel.
Repeated trips to Israel, of varying lengths, have strengthened my connection. A realistic love has replaced the infatuation of those early days. I see her flaws. And still I love her.
Now, which one is that again??