Listen To My Scream

These past few weeks have been hectic.

Finishing the Passover holiday with horrible news out of Poway, spending the week going wildly between intense Jewish pride, and fear, and sadness, and love, was a wild experience.

Poway bumping up into Yom Ha’Atzmaut and Yom Hashoah, one day that celebrates Israel and one day that memorializes those lost during the Holocaust, followed by Israel being torrentially stormed by 650 rockets out of Gaza, killing 4, injuring countless others, and coming to this week, on a day that memorializes all those lost due to the terrorism and wars in Israel. I’m emotionally exhausted just writing that all, but it’s all taken an even deeper toll on my mind and my heart.

I’ve always, always, always leaned away from writing anything remotely political on this blog, because, in my mind, politics divide, and I’ve wanted this blog to be a place of connection, of relatability.

So, when I write about Jew’s or Israel or anything of the sort, I run the risk of people turning their noses up at me.

But I love Israel. And I am a Jew.

So what am I doing?

I preach authenticity, but at the end of the day, I shape the way I want to be seen, and that ends up hurting me, and my nation as a whole.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to feel pride and joy in being a Jew.

Sure, I know that it is impressive that we’re still here after centuries of being persecuted and chased from land after land, but when I think about the number of 6 million dead in the Holocaust, I just don’t feel so lucky.

When I think about the endless number of Jews who have died because of their faith, tortured in their homes and workplaces, taken from their families, their lives that they worked so hard to build up, I just don’t feel so lucky.

When I have this tiny sliver of dread in my heart, every single week after Shabbat, fearful of hearing news out of my home state, where my parents and family live, devoting their lives and working tirelessly to represent Judaism in a positive way. I’m terrified of hearing the exact news that happened in Poway, and now my fear is even more valid. I just don’t feel so lucky.

These things sometimes push me to think “is this even worth it?”

When I see hurtful and painful social media posts, with people missing the point completely, blind with hatred towards my people, it fills me with a pain so great, a scream fills my throat that I just never let out, because what good does it do to cry out against injustice, when injustice is always there?

Why has the world chosen my tiny homeland, a country so full of incredible people, and breathtaking sights, a tiny country all of our own, why have they chosen to hate it so deeply?

Is there any country on earth that takes such hatred, such blind, thick, twisted blame?

The strongest proof to me that G-d exists is that Israel, barely visible on a globe, is somehow the world focus in so many ways. What other country can achieve that, if they are not somehow supported by some other-wordly force?

Today, during my morning daily prayers, I read the words in my prayer book, “Az Yashir.” With tears in my eyes, I realized I was saying the very words sung by the Jewish nation, so many years ago, on the shore of the great sea that they had just been miraculously saved from.

Here I am, a young woman in 2019, saying these very same words each morning, filled with the same hope, the same love for my Creator.

Yes. It’s so insanely difficult to understand why our nation has been tortured, killed and hated for centuries.

But I know social media agrees with me on this – the haters make you stronger. The haters are proof that you are doing something inherently important.

I don’t know why 6 million were killed, I don’t know why our people have to endure so much loss and pain, but I am still here. I don’t know why, but I know that if I am, it is because I am here for a reason, and I must never hide in the shadows. If I have a platform, no matter how small, I will use it.

Call me crazy. Call me whatever you want, really.

I know who I am.

There’s absolutely nothing political about this, it is my soul, and my inalienable right to shout it from the rooftops. I’ve silenced my scream countless times, but here it is.


And I am proud.




Featured Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash

I Love Israel- and that is all.

My two weeks in Israel were the most incredible two weeks of my life. Maybe the first two weeks of my life were more groundbreaking, but there were probably an equal amount of tears.

Every moment was beautiful, every moment was meaningful, every moment was good.
Good in the best sense of the word.
The trip changed my life. It helped me find who I wanted to be. It guided me towards the G-d I always knew was there, but wasn’t as ready to recognize.
If you have spent time there, you know there is a certain peace in Israel that’s impossible to find anywhere else. Even on the streets of Chevron, there is this intense feeling of belonging, of joy.
So as I live my life in the 21st century, surrounded constantly by news updates and everyone’s opinions, I feel my heart hurting.
It hurts because the land that I found peace in has numerous accusations of perpetrating evil.
It hurts because the land that changed my life is being told to stop defending itself.
I owe this land so so much.
How do I explain to the world that even in these days of horrific terror, if given the opportunity and the ticket, I would not hesitate to get on a plane and fly there?
How do I explain to the world that I love that land so fiercely, that it means everything to me?
It is physically painful for me to watch the world turn on my land, to twist stories beyond recognition in the hopes of making the tiniest country in all of the Middle East look bad.
I am coming from the most un-complicated view of Israel. I can promise you that.
It breaks my heart that a land so blissfully beautiful and spiritual has to be dragged through politics, war, hate, and harm.
I see Israel for what it was intended- a land for my nation to finally make a home, to finally be free of persecution and hate.
I am young enough to not actually give any about who the president is. I am old enough to feel desperately in love with the land.
I am innocent enough to not care about right and left, to not care about the differences between each sect of Judaism, and the non-judaism, and everything in between.
I just love Israel and I want everyone to love it too.
That is my plea, that is all I feel about this entire “Israel business.”
I don’t have anything to say.
I don’t have a political view, a deep thought process, or anything that contains technical details about this whole thing.
I just want Israel to be the peaceful place it is for me, for every single person. I want people to open up their eyes and realize that the accusations they are making are impossible, because, I mean, it’s Israel.
In my head right now, I am already predicting that there are those who will privately message me that I am naive. I am stupid. I’m not seeing the whole picture.
Well. This is my response.
I choose to be naive then. I choose to be stupid. I don’t want to see the whole picture, if that picture is going to make me pick fights with everyone in my facebook feed.
I am not the kind of person who chooses to be naive very often. I like to be very educated about everything. I like to be in the know, to form an opinion about everything.
But this is as far as my opinion about Israel is going to go.
I don’t want to know more, I don’t want to learn more or be more involved in the politics of the matter.
I’m done hearing about how terrible it is.
Remember what we are talking about. It’s Israel. If you think of it as an evil or complicated place, please, just spend two weeks there.
You might change your mind.
We might all live in different places, we might all live in homes across the world, but at the end of the day we all have a place that we can come home. That will welcome us. Even if the people there don’t. Even if there are people who will try to drag us into discussions. To discuss why or why not the entire nation is should be settled in Israel. To bring up the things that I just so desperately want to stop talking about.
Let’s stop.
Just stop.
Stop talking about all the awful things you know or hear about Israel.
That land changed my life.
The way I’ll pay it back is by loving it to it’s core, and ignoring the things that will make me think about it as a place of difficulties.
I feel like this post is so un-Etti. But that’s okay. It’s good for me to not be the pre-conceived notion of me sometimes.
To those of you who are disappointed in me for taking what seems to be the easy road out, by closing my ears and eyes and only opening my heart…well, take it up with someone else this time.