Things I Missed from Israel

Things I Missed from Israel - Talia Goldberg, Community Shlicha

When I started my Shlichut, I was told I would get a plane ticket and two weeks to go home to Israel. My plan was to leave right after camp and spend the Jewish holidays with my family. Then Covid came, and like everyone else, my plans were changed but I still managed to fly to Israel. I’m writing this blog from my bedroom in Israel and want to share with you what I’ve missed since leaving one year ago.

1. My family – Of course, the first thing I’ve missed the most all year is my family. I love them dearly and they are a big part of my life.

2. My friends – I think of my friends in Israel as family. They are always at my house or I’m at theirs. Many of them are friends from the army so we’ve shared a room like sisters, and have been through a lot together at least as much as me and my brothers have been through. It was just great to see them again.

3. Hebrew – I don’t know if I can explain how great it is to not think before talking, reading easily and understanding all the jokes people make! What a great language.

4. Things in pita bread – I don’t know why the whole world didn’t adopt this as a concept, but pita bread is like a bowl of food that is also food. It’s crazy, you can just fill up this food with other food and have such a great time eating it. I definitely recommend falafel and veggies and salads and anything you can think of – put it in a pita bread and you get a better food.

5. The Shabbat feeling – One of the special things about Israel that I missed is that on shabbat there’s a shabbat feeling. The pace of the time changes. The world works differently for 24 hours. People chill and feel different. Life stops for a day and you can feel it out in the streets.

6. People feeling free to say anything to you – Literally anything, even if you’re right in the middle of biting into a sandwich and they are strangers in the street, they think that they can jump right in and comment.

7. All Israel are brothers – Including the guy on the bus, that spoke so loudly to his girlfriend on the phone. I now know what color her nail polish is, that his parents are too religious for her and that she needs to respect them and not have red nail polish when she comes for the holidays. I promise I tried not to listen, but in Israel people’s business is everyone’s business.

8. Jerusalem –Absolutely the most amazing city in the whole entire world. It’s such an alive city and the variety of people you see there is so big and the colors and smells are so intense. And the rock covered buildings and the feeling of a holy place is just in every corner. It feels as if you are closer to god.

My visit to Israel will be shorter than expected, but I’m glad I went to get a reminder for how beautiful and amazing this country is and I’m just so happy it is the place I grew up. I hope we can all visit there soon with no need to quarantine and a chance to meet people in real life again. L’shana habah b’yerushalim habnuya (To next year in the future Jerusalem)