And it feels like home…

Sort of. I mean, I have now officially been back in the United States for 4 weeks. It doesn’t really feel like home, but it does feel familiar. I think i am just looking forward to being in one place for more than a few months. I came home, hit the ground running and have finally been in the same place for 3 weeks. In a bit over a month I will move back to LA and stay there for hopefully some long extended time.
But, what is a more fitting way to recognize my re-entry into the United States of America with the celebration of the 4th of July. I have been sitting here, thinking about how different this day is here than in Israel. In Israel, it is a celebration of a state that people are still fighting to protect the right to exist. I don’t feel that way here. In Israel the day follows a very moving and somber day of morning and remembrance for those who fell in battles to protect the country. Here, it is just another excuse for fire works, alcohol and a day off of work. Don’t get me wrong, I think celebrating America, and the freedoms I am granted for living here is an incredibly important task. But I am taken by the marked differences in the societies and have a deeper understanding for what my life means, my country stands for.
I spent part of my day doing something that made me feel more grateful for the country I live in, and felt like it better celebrated what “independence day” is all about. I spent a portion of my day down in Millennium park working with a teen group on a voter registration drive. And the rest of the day participating in my first bbq since being back in the US.
I guess I’m just readjusting, but it’s much harder when every day I am faced with the challenges of our society and trying to find my place within the hustle and bustle and fight for justice. I guess I’ll just take it one day at a time, and do whatever small part I can to make a difference in my world. Hillel keeps coming back to me: “If I am not for myself who will be for me, if I am only for myself, what am I, and if not now, when?” This is the daily struggle!

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