Last year I went to the טקס (program/ceremony) at BAYT as I had done pretty much every single year since I was in elementary school. I was pretty sure it was goingto be our last one. We hoped to be moving in the summer but we were not yet 100% sure. It felt different beign there. Being somehow outside of it as we were already so much on the boderline of being Israeli and not just celebrating Yom Ha'Atzmaute as a cultural event-b but not yet able to do so. The beauty of so many people from so many walks of life coming together for one night in many ways overwhelmed me.
But I realize now that it really was nto from all woalks of life. The Israeli teenageer in a tank top was not there. The Chareidi in the shtreimel who supports the state was not there. The family with no car who lived downtown was not there.
Here you see everyone and everything getting involved.
I went to go get Channah from gan today and the school was draped inside and out with Israeli flags. The kids were singing "lechah eten et ha-arets hazot" (to you I will give this land- a pasuk from the Torah discussing that all the land would be given to b'nai yisrael) at the top of their lungs. Every surface was covered in blue and white streamers.
Everywhere I look flags are going up. In windows, on balconies. On the routes leading into and out of cities. I know it is just the idealist new olah in me, but even all the flowers seem to be blooming to their most beautiful to dress up the country for her birthday.
People are asking about Yom Haatzmaute plans and not a week after pessach have already started wishing each other a chag sameyach (I did a double take as I had no idea why the guy at the harware store said it to me- he assumed the sun shade I was buying was for a yom haatzmaute party- I was amused!).
We all know that there were many things that finally pushed Jason and I into making the decision to move. But this week, the new olah idealist in me is being given the chance to see why it wanted to come. Forget the millions of other reasons we decided to come. This week goes right back to why I wanted to come when I was 4 years old.
I belong here. Everyone can belong here.