Life in Israel, Summer of 2011


It has been a month in the Holy Land, a very long and exhausting month. When we got here our house was supposed to be ready, our kids were supposed to know which school they are going to go to on September first. Instead we found out that the house was far from being ready, and schools were still a mystery.

Life in Israel is not easy. We had a bombing in the south, and also a shooting on the border between Egypt and Israel. Eight people were killed while driving to vacation in Eilat. The bombing came from Gaza, which is located about thirty miles south of Tel Aviv.

You must understand how tiny Israel is. One day we drove on road #6, which is about ten miles east from our house (Tel Aviv, where we live, is on the Mediterranean, the western border). This road is the future border between Palestine and Israel. My kids were shocked and scared to learn that we had been so close, asking what would have happened if we’d taken the wrong road and drove to a Palestinian village. Well, I did not want to tell them the truth–that they probably would not get out of there alive, so I said that as American citizens, it would have probably been fine.

You are probably wondering why take our family from such a peaceful place as Seattle and move to Israel, especially if life is so fragile? Well, I am not sure I have a good enough answer, but I will try my best to explain. We are far from being naïve. We know the risks and we understand pretty well the complicated political situation. We are even having our oldest son stay in the US. He is here now, but will be traveling back to go to school in Oregon.

We have even taken this trip a few times already, eventually moving back to the U.S.

My husband and I were born and raised here. Our moms and most of our extended family live here. Our mother tongue is Hebrew. We love the streets here, we love the fact that our eight year-old boy can walk to school by himself. We love the fact that he could just walk to his friend’s house, knock on the door and have a play date. We love the fact that the sun is shining and it is warm here every single day. We love the fact that our kids are welcomed to their schools in our mother tongue. As Jews, we love the fact that the holidays that are felt and celebrated here are Jewish holidays.

We feel complete here in Israel. I no longer miss my family and childhood friends I have here. They are next to me.

My best friend Sophie and I have been friends since we were fourteen. Where else would I find that? I can always be totally me when I’m with her, no matter how grumpy I am, and she will always love me for who I am. I love her the same way. We went to visit her last night, and I hardly spoke, I just was so tired of all the hard work and the emotional stress I have been under. She served me coffee, and was just there for me, no need to have words said. I am so fortunate to have her around me.

When I am in the U.S. I always miss Israel. Believe me, I have tried many times separating emotionally and physically, but it has never worked. I always want to go back. I hope that this time around my permanent home will be here.

More to come next time. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, and be blessed!

P.S. Schools worked out pretty well at the very last moment. Kids started schools and are pretty content for now. Surprisingly, our fifteen year-old who was hard core
not wanting to move here, said it is not as bad as he thought it would be. . .Our twelve year-old is going to a fantastic bi-lingual school, and is happy. Our eight year-old managed to enter our local school. The major shock for him is the fact that he is one of forty kids in class. I am not happy about this either. At least he has many friends close to home.

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About Revital Shiri-Horowitz

Author DAUGHTERS OF IRAQ, and HOPE TO SEE YOU SOON (English and Hebrew versions) novels @ immigrant experience to Israel. Experienced speaker to Jewish communities, bk audiences. Luvs her 4 sons/hubby/Havana Silk dogs http://revital-sh.com/
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12 Responses to Life in Israel, Summer of 2011

  1. treithioblog says:

    this is fascinating. I have to say that although I know the ‘basics’ of the situation in Israel, like a lot of people in the west I’m fairly ignorant on the complexities. I look forward to your future posts!

  2. Hi there. Thanks for your comment, you touched my heart!

  3. Stuart Land says:

    Hi my sweet Revital. What a lovely post. It’s nice to hear about a place from someone living “on the ground floor” as I like to call it. Very personable and immediate. About real, everyday life. There is a scene in the movie Dreams by Akira Kurosawa, in which two old ladies who have been friends since childhood, meet after a long absence. The entire scene of about twenty minutes has no dialogue, just two friends sitting across from one another drinking tea. It’s the only segment I remember from the film it was so powerful.

    I truly hope all the tension settles down in Israel so people from both sides can life as it’s meant to be lived, with love and dignity.

  4. Oh Stuart. WOW, what a comment. I do not remember this part from the movie, but I can tell you one thing: a true friendship is a great blessing in our lives. I read my post to Sophie this morning (English is not a strong sbject for her), and we both were so emotional about it, she said she loved it.

    Be blessed Stuart, and I truly can not wait for the coffee we both are planning on having once you visit my home town. I am sure you would love the nice coffee shops by the sea.

  5. Jackie says:

    Hi dear friend,

    I know the angst you went through to make that journey home and I’m so pleased all is well and settled. Our hearts are funny things. They lead us places that make no sense to others at time, but it’s where you feel at home and that is a beautiful feeling. Enjoy your life there for you are at home in every sense of the word.

    Keep writing!! Love you,
    Jackie

  6. Oh Jackie, thank you so much. You always understand my heart. You must know how special person you are. Hope all is well back home.

    Love, Revital

  7. Kari says:

    No matter how grumpy you are, I still love you too! We miss you here in Bellevue! Oliver hopes barak is having fun in israel but he misses him 😉 mazel tov on getting the schools figured out….40 kids in one class is alot but baraki will be a leader. I enjoy hearing from you!
    Be safe and well,
    Kari

  8. Oh Kari, this is so sweet, I love and miss you too. Please send Barak`s love to Oliver. Hope to see you when I am in WA in November.

  9. Stuart Land says:

    I look forward to our meeting one day along the shores of your village.

  10. Donna says:

    Dear Rivital,
    So nice to read your post about the family and after some set-backs see you are finally settling down to life with friends and extended family in your heartland, Israel. The bi-lingual school sounds perfect for Roee. Back in Bellevue, summer finally arrived just as school started, which seems unreal. I remember reading your earlier post about all the sunshine in Israel and was sooo jealous. I look forward to each and every post.

  11. Dear Donna

    Love reading your comments! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hope life is relaxing, and you are enjoying it. Will I be able to see you in November? I am lecturing in the Seattle Jewish Book Festival.

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