I try to go walking almost every day for exercise. I make a lap around the yishuv, waving to friends as I go and picking up groceries and children along the way, as necessary. Today, Azriel and I were enjoying our walk. It is a beautiful spring-like day and we were happily moving along.
When I got near the front of the yishuv, it suddenly hit me. I really live in Israel. Yes, I know I live here. But, in my day to day tasks, I very often take for granted that I live HERE – in Israel.
What made today different? Today, the flags that have been up in the yishuv for weeks caught my attention. Since it was just Yom Haaztmaut (Israel Independence Day) there are flags all over the yishuv. At the entrance to the yishuv, where we have a traffic circle, they’ve placed fifteen to twenty flags around the outside of the circle.
Today, as I walked by these flags, waving in the wind, I started to get goosebumps and tears came to my eyes.
Now, it’s quite normal to get teary-eyed over Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, and the like. There are sirens that go off, incredible stories of heroism to hear and read, and memories to speak about.
To get teary-eyed on a normal day, walking along a paved street like any other is another story. And that really is what makes life here so special. While I don’t see it everyday or appreciate it all the time, today I found significance in a single walk. I found significance in the fact that I am living out the modern dream of the Jewish people in such a simple, mundane way. And that, truly, is the gift of Israel and of aliyah.