War on Terror

#happychallenge

This #happychallenge has been interesting for me.

I’ve been home for the past few days, which means I didn’t get out and around as much as I do when I am in NYC. The past few days were great, but great because I was home. Normal days. Sleeping late, eating good food, spending time with family.

It’s hard to pin-point at the end of the day what in particular made me happy without being too cliche.

I could have said “Family” every single day this week, and it would have been completely true. But I didn’t want to be cliche.

What I did notice over the past few days is how very much I have and how easy it is for me to forget.

When something goes wrong, it’s so easy to be angry. To feel as if nothing ever goes your way. As if ¬†everything is slipping away, and it will never come together.

Over the past few days, my eyes have been peeled for something happy. And I discovered a lot. Mostly tiny things.

Things like:

Waking up in the morning, healthy.

Warm water to wash my face and plumbing so that I can use the bathroom in the comfort of my home, down the hall from my bedroom.

Enough clothing for me to have to decide what to wear.

Having enough food in the house that it’s a challenge for me to choose what I’d like to eat for breakfast.

Car’s at our disposal, so that I can go somewhere with my sisters.

I have not been forced to flee my home. When I leave tomorrow, it will not be against my will (although I’d love to stay home a little longer!), and I will not be heading to a shelter with thousands of other people, where there are crying children and adults having nightmares.

I do not wake up in the morning, wondering where my next meal will come from.

I have sweaters and scarves to keep me warm when the weather outside dips below 50 degrees.

I have parents who try their best to support my dreams.

I am not afraid to express myself. I am free to practice my religion. I have friends that I am so grateful for. I am going on a trip across the country next week. I have a good job. I have hobbies and so many interests.

I have so, so much.

And it’s so easy to take all these things for granted.

The moment dinner doesn’t work out, or it rains when I had a big day planned, it all seems to crumble, and all these things become barely a priority.

This #happychallenge opened up my eyes to all of these things. Bubby opened up my eyes to all these things.

It is so much easier to focus on the bad. And I will be the last one to say that the bad should be ignored. No. The bad in the world must be transformed into good. But instead of focusing on the bad, why don’t we just push it away by bringing more good?

A teacher once taught me that the way to get rid of a bad habit is not to abstain from the habit, but to start a good habit and eventually it will push the bad habit away.

If I have a problem with the education system, it will do no one good to listen to me putting down the administrations and curriculum’s. It will do good if I network with those who can make a difference, and we just make change.

I don’t want this #happychallenge to end. But it’s not that helpful for me to just keep posting about the happy in my life. I do need to keep seeing it though. But I need to do more. More for my Bubby, and more for me.

I don’t have any great plans just yet.

But thank G-d, I was given a brain and a heart, and by putting the two together, and combining them with the rest of all of yours..I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do something pretty awesome.

#happychallenge

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.
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.
FINE.
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.