Friday, February 17, 2006

Strike 3, y'er in!

For 2 years I must have driven all my mates at Binghamton University crazy, blabbering non-stop about Israel, Zionism, my green suit dreams and my ambition to make aliyah. Everyone saw it was the one thing that drove me, a passion that was getting stronger and stronger as events in Israel spiraled out of control with the 2nd intifadeh and the rise of anti-Israel activity on Binghamton's campus. I knew where I was going, I would do what parents did in 1983 and thousands did before them, and leave behind the comfort of home for the sake of my people & my dream. So on February 16th, 2003, I choked up as I hugged my parents. Although I'm sure it was difficult for them to see their eldest leave them, I know they were proud of me. The same passion and desires that took them away from their parents in Cape Town had infected me and was pulling me towards my real home. A day later, I awoke to see the shoreline of Tel Aviv as the plane made its descent to Ben Gurion.

3 year later ... Yup, 3 years have passed already since I left the good ole comfort of Scarsdale, New York. I've traveled throughout the country, walking on land that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wondered on. I've tasted the delicious Negev sand while training to become a defender of my nation's right to exist. I've stood up silently to honor the 6,000,000 brothers and sisters that were brutally taken away from my nation while the world stood silent. I've stood silently to honor the 20,000+ Israelis who've died in our ongoing battle to find peace in the Middle East. I've laughed. I've cried. I've experienced the highs of Independence Day, the lows of losing friends. Tasted the cultures and foods of the plethora of nations represented here. I've been paid to take Jewish holidays off. I've learned some Russian, some Amharic (the langauge spoken by Ethiopians) and a few important phrases in Arabic. I've tasted love. I've gotten closer to my faith. But most importantly, I've lived. I've pursued my dream, and lived it to the best of my abilities while learning and trying constantly to better myself.

So 3 years have passed. The passion is still there. The love for my country (& her future) and my faith are as strong as ever. The roots I planted here as a 22 year old are slowly growing stronger. I'm extremely happy with how my dream is playing itself out - and as Mark Twain said, "Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Onwards ...

1 comment:

Moshe Dov McKibbon said...

avram,
your latest blog was excellent, really inspiring. Your passion for Israel and the Jewish people is something I've always respected about since I met you at WUJS 2.5 years ago already.
keep on writing and sharing...