Inspired by Ima on the Bima’s list of 13 things she loves about Israel and in honor of Israel’s 62nd birthday today, I offer my own list of 13 things I love about Israel:
- Jerusalem is golden, Nachalot neighborhoods are richly diverse, and the city makes my soul sing.
- My two nieces made aliyah and are doing their part to strengthen the Jewish state.
- My children love Israel almost as much as I do, and cannot wait to get back again and again.
- I have made Aliyat HaNefesh (spiritual ascent – been to Israel) 9 times and still cannot get enough of her.
- Her language, Hebrew, flows somewhat fluently from my mouth.
- The Galilee is green, gorgeous, spacious and spectacular.
- You can walk on stone pathways that our Biblical ancestors actually walked on and up stairs that our ancestors actually climbed. History comes alive.
- Ain Avdat a Negev wadi, makes for a fun-filled, rock-climbing, water-discovering hike.
- Machane Yehuda on Friday afternoon is a a colorful, boisterous, deliciously smelly, pluralistic intersection of Israelis of all flavors and fruits and vegetables of all kinds. I love standing in the middle of it right then.
- Newness abounds: Tel Aviv, once lowest on my list of places to visit, now tops my list as a cultural pilgrimage site.
- Kehillat Mevasseret Zion, a Progressive synagogue in Mevasseret Zion, a Jerusalem suburb, is a virbrant beautiful community with an energetic, inspiring Rabbi Maya Leibovitch.
- The artists colony in Tzefat, filled with spiritual seekers and creative wonders, offers voice and visual to religious murmurings after a day spent touring the mystical sites.
- And the fact that this list can go on and on and on…
What are your 13 favorite things that you love about Israel? Do share!