Sooner or Later, All good things must come to an end

I’m sitting here, having just returned from my real last class at Machon Schechter. 2 exams separate me from the official end of the academic studies I have engaged in here in Israel this year. And, my thoughts are all over the place. I cannot believe that I arrived in Israel nine months ago. It seems like only yesterday, and it seems like a lifetime ago. There were the days in the beginning that seemed like a heavenly paradise, the days in the middle where I wanted nothing more than to go home, and I thought the journey would never end, the days where I was suddenly reminded that I am in Israel, and now the days that fly by so fast, I just want them to slow down. One week from today I will board a plane back to America, the time of my return to Israel, uncertain. This year has been full of ups and downs, full of growth and change. New friends have been made, old friends reunited with, and other friendships ended. This year has been full of learning in and outside the classroom, learning about myself, society, the world. And i know that learning will never end, but my time here is coming to an end, and it is all happening so fast.
Yesterday in my Israel Seminar, we reflected on the year, on how our views and feelings towards Israel have changed during the year. I definitely have found myself with stronger views on the politics of this country, have a deeper connection to the struggle of living here, and a new found respect for those who choose to make Aliyah, and at the same time, am ready to go back to my home. Home is where the heart is, my home is both Israel and America, and that is o.k. But, my picture of an idealistic, perfect Israel has been altered, and I see a State, full of problems, but overcome with incredible charm and beauty.
I am left with questions, how can I show American Jews that they need Israel, not just that Israel needs us? How can I learn to love the discomfort, which I have, and how can I find the discomfort that pushes me to grow and try new things back in America? How can I share my unconditional love for the complex society that Israel is home to?
I have learned to love the complexities that make this charming society. I have learned to love the discomfort. I have learned to love the sirens and honking. I have learned to love the backwards bureaucracies, because I love Israel Unconditionally.
But, I’m not ready to leave. It doesn’t feel real. In the next week, I will pack up my life again, and move to a new place, I will have new experiences, new friends, new thoughts. But, I will be leaving something so precious to me.
How did these 9 months fly by so quickly?
I remember the pride and joy when I had my first conversation in Hebrew outside School, when I ordered food for delivery in Hebrew, when I read the bills and understood them for the first time. I remember the sense of accomplishment writing my first paper in Hebrew, participating in Class for the first time in Hebrew, understanding an entire lecture in Hebrew. It will be strange to go back to speaking English everywhere. It will be strange to go to the Grocery store and understand the packages, to have a cart I didn’t have to pay for. It will be strange to have a car, not to rely on my own two feet every minute of the day.
So many thoughts to process. So much more to do and see. But time is running out… here I go, making the best of the time I have left. And I know, it won’t be long before I return!
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2 thoughts on “Sooner or Later, All good things must come to an end

  1. Matt May 30, 2007 / 1:39 pm

    You love the honking? I love the lack of honking in California!I think you will enjoy driving again, we sure do.But, you’re right about Hebrew. I do miss hearing it and even occasionally speaking it. That’s what I find that I miss the most.

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  2. Paula Brown May 31, 2007 / 4:21 am

    I can only imagine what these past 9 months have meant to you. I have been keeping up with your blog and hope you will continue writing it when you return to the States and to school. Will you be back in Michigan for Rabbi Nevins’ farewell dinner (Friday, June 8)? If you are, look for me, okay. Hope to see you soon.Paula

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