Birthright Changed My Life
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Politics and Activism

Birthright Changed My Life

It was TagLIT.

Birthright Changed My Life
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When I applied to go on Birthright, a fully FREE 10 day trip to Israel for young Jews, I did not take it seriously at all. I thought I was just getting a free vacation where I would see some cool things, take some nice instagram pictures, and be able to legally drink. Yes, I experienced all those things, but the trip was so much more than I expected and could have ever hoped for. Birthright was, hands down, the greatest experience of my life, and I genuinely do not think there is another place on this earth that will give me the same feeling as the country of Israel gave me. It has this power and feeling over you that is so hard to explain unless you experience it for yourself. As my group and I traveled all around the country, I felt so connected and at home- actually right off the bat I felt this way. They country is so magical, and for once in my life I was so freaking proud to be Jewish. I have always for some reason not put my Judaism on display for the world. However, being surrounded by all these other jewish people my age, and seeing how cool they all are, I am so excited to scream my faith from the mountain tops, and continue to connect with my religion even further. I am going to miss how Israel and these amazing people I met on my journey made me feel, but I am so excited to keep the memories alive by sharing my experience with everyone around me, and continuing to build connections with the people that I shared this life changing experience with. The people were amazing, and I have never been so happy or laughed so hard in my entire life other in such a short period of time in my entire life. On the trip, six Israeli soldiers were able to be part of our group, not as protection, but as normal young adults getting a break from their heavy commitment in the IDF. Hearing about all the responsibility they have and everything they do for their country makes me want to do something more with my life, and something bigger than myself. I don't know what that is yet, but this trip caused something big to happen within me. I want to learn more about my heritage and my people, and find ways to stay more involved with my faith. Israel is more than a place- it is a way of life, a feeling, and a home for the people who don't feel like they have a place of belonging in this world.

Before traveling to Israel, if someone asked me if I was Jewish, I would tell them, "Yes, but only half Jewish." Now, I have realized that there is no such thing as half Jewish, and WHOLEHEARTEDLY Jewish is what I am. This trip taught me that you are able to change your life if you want to -you just need to step out of your comfort zone and be vulnerable to an experience. This trip had an everlasting impact on my life, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a life changing experience that will enhance your outlook on life. I loved this country so much, and I am already looking for ways to go back as much as possible.

Ps. A few weeks before the trip, everyone in my group wrote down what they were hoping for during the trip and had it sent to their house afterwards. Here is an excerpt from my letter "When in Israel, I am really hoping to be changed after. I want to explore more than I ever have before, and make new friends and new connections. I am hoping to be moved by this trip, and look at life differently afterwards."

Everything I wished for, happened. I love you Israel, thank you.

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