"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Israel Connection 5777

Allow me to preface this post with the statement that 363 days of the year, I feel very little connection to Israel, if any at all.  As a good Jewish girl in a "good" Jewish day school, I grew up on the rhetoric "Israel is home, Israel is home, Israel is home."  Well, then in 2009, I went on a class trip to Israel for two months, and I found that the rhetoric on which I had grown up simply was not true.  Israel is increasingly being dominated and run--even in government--by the ultra-Orthodox.  It is also possible to carve out a place for oneself if one is completely secular.  I am neither, somewhere in the middle; according to my experience, there is no place for me.

So why am I writing this post? I am writing this post because the above only applies to 363 days of the year; that leaves two days on which I feel different.

The first is Yom HaZikaron, Israel's memorial day for fallen soldiers and terror victims.  That was yesterday.  I no longer attend Yom HaZikaron events/ceremonies because I end up with tears rolling down my face, and that is just embarrassing.  However, I do mark the day by wearing my black velvet "sad and somber days" kippah; this year I specifically wore it with blue clips.

The second day on which I feel connected to Israel, perhaps even more than in the paragraph above, is Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day, today.  There is a controversy between the Conservative and Orthodox movements over whether or not to say Hallel, a set of psalms celebrating God's miracles, on this day.  Essentially, the argument is over whether or not the establishment of the modern State of Israel is a contemporary miracle.  Orthodox Jews say no; Conservative Jews say yes.  Because I am more Conservative than Orthodox, and because my Rabbinic authority is Conservative, I said Hallel today. 

I am also celebrating the day with the outfit I am wearing.  Except for my ladies' tallit katan, I am dressed casually; however, I made sure to wear blue and white (Israel colors).  My skirt looks denim, but is not, and flows more gently; it has a ruffle around the bottom.  It is mostly blue, and in fact would be all blue except for a purple flowered patch over a hole I made roller blading.  I have had it since middle school.  My t-shirt is one I almost never wear; however, all my blue ones are dirty, so I got this one out.  It is white, with turquoise and blue writing; I got it on my class Israel trip all those years ago.  In terms of accessories, I am wearing my fanciest blue kippah--embroidered silk, and the only blue one I purchased, rather than receiving free--with the blue flowered clips, as well as my blue glass Jewish star pendant.

So there you have it! My long winded post on my connection to Israel.  Thanks for reading!

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!