Lovely. From Jews news:
Where I was born. Where I ate my first Popsicle and used a proper
toilet for the first time. Where some of my 18-year-old friends spend
their nights in bunkers sleeping with their helmets on. Where security
guards are the only jobs in surplus. Where deserts bloom and pioneer
stories are sentimentalized. Where a thorny, sweet cactus is the symbol
of the ideal Israeli. Where immigrating to Israel is called “ascending”
and emigrating from Israel is called “descending.” Where my grandparents
were not born, but where they were saved.
Where the year passes
with the season of olives, of almonds, of dates. Where the transgressive
pig or shrimp dish speaks defiantly from a Jerusalem menu. Where,
despite substantial exception, secularism is the rule. Where wine is
religiously sweet. Where “Arabic homes” is a positive real estate term
with no sense of irony. Where there is endless material for dark humor.
Where there are countless words for “to bother,” but no single one yet
for “to pleasure.” Where laughter is the currency; jokes the religion.
Where political parties multiply more quickly than do people. Where to
become religious is described as “returning to an answer” and becoming
secular “returning to a question.”
Where six citizens have won
Nobel prizes in 50 years. Where the first one earned an Olympic gold in
2004 for sailing (an Israeli also won the bronze for judo). Where there
is snow two hours north and hamsin (desert wind) two hours south. Where
Moses never was allowed to walk, but whose streets we litter. Where the
language in which Abraham spoke to Isaac before he was to sacrifice him
has been resuscitated to include the words for “sweatshirt” and
“schadenfreude” and “chemical warfare” and “press conference.” Where the
muezzin chants, and the church bells sound and the shofars cry freely
at the Wall. Where the shopkeepers bargain. Where the politicians
bargain. Where there will one day be peace but never quiet.
Where I was born; where my insides refuse to abandon
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