Where do I belong?

It is a beautiful early Friday morning in Tel Aviv. The sun is shining, the dogs are not barking (a crazy neighbor with two huge dogs that kept barking all day long, had just moved away from our neighborhood, yay!). I am finally able to sit in my office and write. My dog is sitting next to me; she is following me wherever I go, always looking for my next move. It is time to wrap up the summer, put it behind me, and look with hope and a prayer for a much better year to come.

It is the Jewish New Year in two weeks. I feel that it really made sense to start the New Year after this long hot summer in Biblical days. Israel has a very hot and humid summer, and the fall always brings a feeling of hope for a better weather, and hope for a better Jewish year. The evenings become a bit cooler, so it is nice to take a walk, and wonder around the streets of our neighborhood.

We spent most of the summer in our Seattle home. It brought good memories, and it brought lots of thoughts. “Did we do the right thing, by moving back to Israel?”

Summers in Seattle are the best; you will never find a better place in the whole world. It has cooler mornings and evenings, but warm and sunny days, where you can chill in the lakes, have picnics on the beaches, have a long day with light until very late, beautiful sunsets, and so many places to drive to. I love the feeling of an open and a huge place and space, where I can just tack our car with kids, food and games, with music and just no special plan, and just drive. Israel is so tiny and crowded. I very often feel that I am trapped in here; roads are always so busy, especially on weekends and holidays. We never go anywhere on these days, because it is so busy.  

We left a great life behind us, especially peaceful, and moved to the Middle East. There is never a dull moment in here. We sit here and wait for our Prime minister to decide whether we are going to strike Iran or not. If we will, they will hit us so bad, I am not sure what would be left here, and if we don`t, it is just a matter of time that this crazy man Achmadinijad will try and finish what Hitler started. So the situation here is really not simple.

Every day in the south of Israel (it is only one hour drive from the center…Told you Israel is tiny…) Chamas is bombing the cities, the Kibbutzim, and the Moshaving around Gaza. We gave them Gaza, thinking they would let us live peacefully, and ended up being bombed every single day for the last ten years. Do you know about any other nation that would tolerate that? We are much stronger than them, but we are too nice, and human to just be more aggressive.

Where do I belong? And where should I raise my kids? My husband and I were born here, Hebrew is our native language, and we have so many memories from this place, friends and family. But we also learned that we could live peaceful life, and it is not a must staying here if we have other options, which we do.

I am wondering if we, Jews, in our own country, will forever need to fight, will forever need to send our kids to the Army, and I am just so sad with the answer.

Where do I really belong? I belong here and in the US, and I also do not belong anywhere. Complicated…Told you so…

Happy Labor Day, and a great weekend everyone. May peace and happiness be with you, wherever you are.   





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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15 Responses to Where do I belong?

  1. vered says:

    love reading your stories. Have a good a peaceful year. you did good.

  2. jenhaugland says:

    Beautiful, Revital. A wrestling in your soul. I hope some day God will give us a chance to come visit Israel. Blessings to you my dear friend! AND praying for safety and peace for your country. You are pressed from all sides it seems. America has to do a better job at being there for Israel.

  3. Donna says:

    So nice see you blogging again, Rivital. I was worried about you. I hope you are healthy and feeling strong. You are right, sometimes we have two or perhaps more homes, that is, if home is where the heart is. The strong message from your book: home is with family in peace and security. I pray for peace in Israel.

  4. karen fulmer says:

    Talk about conflicted! Your Seattle home is ready to welcome you, for as much or little time as you can give us 🙂

  5. Daisy Matsa-Dunn says:

    Revital, you are so right! It is very complicated and the truth is that we don’t belong anywhere.

  6. Jackie says:

    Oh dear friend, I think that’s a question everyone asks themselves from time to time and not just from a peaceful place to a land of war. Most often it comes from deep inside our hearts. I am a single woman living in an area of married people. I often feel like I don’t fit in here. That perhaps I should move away and start over someplace else. But what I’ve come to understand is my married friends aren’t making me feel this way. It’s me doing it to me. Where we need to first belong is in the comfort of our our skin and how we relate to our world.

    I’ve been told over and over that right where I am is exactly where God wants me to be for there are things I’m meant to discover. I just have to learn to accept it.

    Where you belong is where your soul is open to all the wonders of life. It can be in a peaceful place like Seattle or in a land of conflict like Isreal. It’s where the universe is touching you and exposing you to its infinite wonders. It’s that place where at the end of the day you can look to the heavens and be grateful for all the gifts bestowed.

  7. Tamar says:

    So that’s why I kept reaching voice mail…
    I know exactly what you mean. I read the book “The day the swallows spoke” by Dalene Matthee which made me realise how close I am to Israel and how I can never leave (I love it when a book shakes me up…). But then my father who is a great patriot admitted he can’t see how anything will ever get better in Israel. And if he recommended to make arrangements for US/Canadian citizenship for Nitsan, then things must be really bad.
    Waiting for your return…and regards to everybody
    With all my love,

  8. I have the same straggle. It is hard for me to make my mind I wish I could afford to live half year in Israel and Half a year in California. I have all my brothers and sisters and their family in Israel, yet I have my son here and my daughter and her family in Indonesia. I can relate to your situation. Happy New year and all the best.

    Much love,
    Miriam Seelig

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