a thought after Shavuot -

if we are not going to pass on Jewish values to our children – if we are not even going to take an interest in our heritage, in our collective purpose – then why are there thousands of young Jewish men and women laying their lives on the line to protect the Israeli borders?

crazyness!

ok, so on a logistical wavelength, there is soo much going on. so far, i’ve been working with the Jewish Agency Aliyah Center to work on my papers for citizenship and it was a lot easier than i thought it would be. next step – i have to go down to the israeli consulate in manhattan and give them my papers so they can process it and get me my i.d. number and official israeli papers.
i have my nefesh b’nefesh grant approved and a flight date: august 10. that’s a tuesday i think. flight is at 2:30 with a chartered El Al airplane filled with olim (people making aliyah) like me: young, old, families, singles, crazy excited, crazy nervous, rich, poor, u know…

sometimes i wonder if i should be stopping and taking a breath. is it bad that i dont? i dont want to lose the vision. i’m trying not to be some sort of idealistic herzl worshipper. i’m really not one… it takes a lot to review the reasons for my aliyah. here is a short version – not in any particular order:

i don’t feel like there is a place for me here… i want to travel… i want my right to the Jewish Homeland fufilled… i want to pursue a career in conflict resolution/politics/journalism… i want to be in a place where i wont be hated for being jewish, but rather for being everything else that i am, fair and square… i want to live a simpler life than america offers… i want to build Jewish society… i want to be a positive force for Israeli society… i want to take advantage of a lifetime oppurtunity – an oppurtunity of the century!… i want to help people… i’m curious… i want a new flavor in my life…

so many complications.
my family – am i abandoning them, especially at this crazy time in our little family history?
my (unconceived) kids – is it fair to raise them so far from blood relatives?
am i going for the right reasons? did i go about this the right way?

it’s nerve=wracking, sure. i’m trying to take it like an israeli. whatever that means. maybe i dont even know yet. maybe i never will. maybe i really already know – what it means for liz to be an israeli. maybe liz has always been israeli. maybe in being jewish, i’ve always somewhere inside been israeli.

maybe i’m just rambling because it’s almost 3 a.m.

i am growing to like not having a rule book every step of the way, to be honest. maybe that’s why i’ve been so bored through high school and college: rule books everywhere i turned.

yeah, i’m more prone to mistakes this way.
sure, i’ll definately reach some dead ends.
but i get to choose everything!
i get to be my own boss.
for the next coupla years anyway.

maybe then i’ll hit up venezuela.

israeli malls.

i miss israeli malls.

american malls are great. there’s nothing like them. except… portugese malls. british malls… yeah, most malls are the same.

israeli malls have a flavor. maybe it’s the shit-quality clothing or the bourekas.

allegiance

i pledge
allegiance
to the
flag
of the
United
States
of America.
And to the Republic,
for which it stands,
one Nation,
under God,
indivisible,
with
liberty
and
justice
for
all.

the city

Spent my evening/early morning in ‘the city’ as in Sex and the City, cosmopolitans, Sean Puffy Combs coming out of limosines on Broadway, yeah, you know the one. I rarely am there anymore…

Not that I was ever so hot-and-heavy into the city. In England, people used to ask, ‘do you live like they do on Friends?’ ha. um, no. New York City will always be a home to me, but a very very busy home that was always multi tasking and never had enough time for me. a little neglectful, leaving me to figure out things on my own. but that’s ok.

New York City – New York – the U.S. – have been like babysitters for me until now. they raised me. fed me. nurtured me with… well, NYC/American values. However wholesome those can be.

Now that I’m all graduated and adult and fending for myself, I feel more and more how much I don’t really fit here. Maybe because I outgrew it, maybe because I missed the train somewhere, maybe because I never really fit in the first place.

Traveling last year was great for realizing that. New Yorkers have a stereotype: they’re self involved, they don’t understand how anyone could live outside of New York. well… it was true for me. but I saw things and I’m into feeling out new places. still not Binghamton-style… no offense…

When I leave the city now, after a night of partying or visiting or whatever, I get thinking about the last time I’ll be there as an American citizen. as solely New Yorker. When will it be? How will it feel to leave? I suppose Tel Aviv just wont be the same, as hard as it does try… but i feel a bond with this place, we’ve been through so much through two decades. and especially the last 4 years… i’ll never forget bawling in front of a 17-inch tv in my room tucked safe away in upstate NY. crying for ‘the city’, my city, my neighbors, my buildings, my diverse-crazy-busy-dirty-beautiful city.

maybe Tel Aviv will be my city now. maybe Jerusalem or Herzliya or somewhere further north will be my city. i’ll always have a city i can call mine. there will always be a place for New York City in my heart.

my surrogate home.

-about-

i’m 21 for the moment… just graduated Binghamton University (last sunday!)… with a dual bachelor’s degree in political science and english and a minor in international studies… love dogs, specifically BIG ones… grew up in shaolin… like writing, specially short poetry prose type… cartoons!… visited 16 countries in one year last year… harry potter enthusiast… pizza is awesome… i bought my first bikini today… middle name is ‘ivy’… usually cut my nails too short… planning for a second degree in conflict resolution at Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv… marijuana should be legalized… once thought of joining the marines… don’t like exercising… watched the planes hit the world trade center on a tiny tv in a tiny dorm… trying to get better at photography… mac-user but hating it right now… skirts are better than pants… sandals are better than shoes… probably the only person who voted for Gore and regrets it… math is the devil… love love love traveling… thrift stores are even better than sliced bread… enjoy fantasy… swimming in the dark is nice… worked as a journalist for awhile… aim user… not into being called lizzy… watched ‘the lion king’ 20 times… jordanian goats are funny… multi-tasking at a constant… wrote a 113 page thesis entitled, “Violence in Identity Survival: The Role of Culture in the Palestinian Israeli Conflict”… coffee makes me drunk… hope to write a fantasy fiction, a theory, and prose collection all in one lifetime… ribbons in the hair… made a skirt from a tablecloth… poli sci dork… heard an explosion on Yafo and began to understand…

starting… now.

i guess i’m starting to understand why someone would wanna post their journal online… i guess that takes some sort of guts or maybe just boredom…

i’m doing it (blogging) in order to track my aliyah process for people who are thinking about it for themselves or are wondering, ‘why the hell would someone want to move to israel?’ and also for my friends to follow how it’s going so i don’t have to explain the same thing a hundred times. i’ll probably be doing that anyway because everyone will wanna know what’s going on individually…

anyways, this is my aliyah process – the experience from my view…

so i’ve been seriously thinking about making aliyah for 2 years, and throughout that time the motivations, reasons, process has evolved. it’s been an adventure, but i kinda feel like it’s only beginning. i’m sure there is more of that to explore later on.

aliyah: rising up – in plain english, a term for a jew to move to the biblical land of eretz yisroel, now known as the state of israel (with some political adjustments). i’m not really just doing it for biblical reasons at all. there are so many reasons and so many angles. politically, religiously, socially… for adventure, for purpose, for a career.

there’s so much to explain! what am i made up of? what has led me here? where do i think i’m going (that’s not all that important) – where am i now? where do i stand?