May 7, 2016 was the day.
I was about to emerge myself in a culture I have always dreamt of knowing.
My story of Israel and the Jews begins years ago. I can remember reading Zachariah 2:8 as a child and weeping. The Israelites were the apple of God’s eye? Well, what about me? I want to be the apple of God’s eye. I wish I was Jewish.
Zachariah 2:8 “For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye:”
When I think about that moment, I can’t help but giggle. I was just a child. I didn’t fully understand the verse or the context, but I longed to just sit in Abba’s lap. I wanted that tight-knit relationship with my creator.
As time went on, a family member of mine traced our history. During the holocaust, my great-great-great-grandfather was a Rabbi from Lithuania. He took his family and fled to Ellis Island to escape Hitler’s rule. They survived and one of his sons eventually married a Baptist preachers daughter, which is why my mother’s side of the family are born again Christians.
What? Did I just hear this right? I’m actually Jewish?
After a 15+ hour plane ride, the bell rang for everyone to take their seat belt off and I stood up to stretch my legs. I grabbed my bag and attempted to steady my breathing. It didn’t work. I was just too excited.
The blazing sun blinded my eyes as I walked out of the airport. I put my hand over my face until they adjusted…. my jaw dropped. I was in awe of how beautiful Israel was. Why had no one told me? It was like this well-kept secret or something. You hear about Hawaii, Italy, California or China, but Israel? I had no idea.
There are rolling mountains of sand contrasting with the pastel blue sky. Not to mention you could perfectly see the sun and moon at the same time. The tall palm trees and lush crops were blowing in the wind. The crashing waves from the mediterranean sea. Stone walls that were thousands of years old. Precious Jewish and Muslim families going about their day eating humus and falafel. Everything was perfect.
And to think the saviour of the world walked the same streets.
I truly felt like I belonged there, a connection I can’t adequately describe.
I was Home.
Each week I will be posting a new adventure and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
Coming soon: "Oops.. I almost got arrested on The Temple Mount..."