At Home in America After Living in Israel

At Home in America After Living in Israel

I decide I don't hate it here after all.

At Home in America After Living in Israel
Memes and Comics via

I'm finally home. Crazy, huh?

I cried the whole way. No joke. From the week before I left, I started crying. I'd left Israel once before, and I knew what it was like. It was the end of a world. When the plane lifted off, I opened up my Siddur and said Tehillim. I prayed and cried, that's all I could do. I looked out the window at the lights of Israel fading behind me and then stopped looking back because I was afraid I would be sick. I was glad to be on my way to see my family, but I knew that I would be miserable.

Fifteen hours later: I walked out of the arrivals section of the Ft. Lauderdale Airport and my mom called my name. And then I was hugging her and crying again – crying with joy at seeing her. My dad shouldered my bags, and we walked out into the muggy Florida air.

So I was home – my other home, the one in which I'd spent 16 of 19 years living. Good old America.

Things were like they'd always been. Everyone speaking in English; the grass a more vivid green than the weak thin strands they have in the Middle East; American flags flying over buildings. Home was the same in ways I thought I'd forgotten – oh yes, my shoes go here. You pull out the trick drawer like this, not like that. And I felt fine. I felt like I'd always felt. Happier, I was certainly happier than I was in high school, but it could have just been the lack of stress. I texted my Israeli friends every day and had a Shabbos where I made every Israeli recipe I could get my hands on, from couscous to hummus. Israel was in me, and I missed it, but I wasn't as upset as I thought I'd be.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I am an American. A sixteenth-generation American on my grandmother's side, actually. I think my ancestors were on the Mayflower.

I have been away for a long time. Everyone else here on the Odyssey is writing about the political unrest, shootings of innocents. Orlando, a three-hour drive from my house. I blink my eyes to clear the daily terrorist attacks in Israel from my mind and look around. What? This isn't a safe place? America! Land of the Free and Home of the Boring! But of course not. America is as real a place as anywhere else. There are real people here, crazy people and dull people and everything in between. It's a complicated place.

America isn't just the worn, old country of cynicism and political unreality that outsiders see, that I saw as an outsider. Sure, it's going to be Hillary or Trump for president, but America is more than that. It's a real place, the place where I walk outside in my backyard and enjoy the sunlight. It's where I was born, where my parents and grandparents have lived out their days, home to birth and death, tears and joy. I am at home here.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.


Keep Reading... Show less

Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

If you're anything like me, you're probably anxious about going back to college. The uncertainty of nearly everything is stressful and makes it difficult to prepare for going back to campus. Take it one step at a time and remain calm! If nothing else, take a look at this list of six essentials for living on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic! You got this!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments