Every once in a while, I like to sit back, put my feet up, and let a guest blogger do all the work. Today, my young friend Charlie has decided to offer his writing.
By way of introduction: Several years ago, I visited the Arutz Sheva Virtual Studio on a daily basis. It was a way to stay connected with people who were as addicted to Israel as I was. From my kitchen computer in Baltimore, I traveled all over the world to chat with people who were Israeli wannabes or at least dedicated friends of Israel. One of the regulars was a spunky 16-year-old kid from Flatbush, whom we all would send to bed when we thought he'd been at the computer late enough. During the time he visited with us, he always had insightful, passionate ideas to share about Israel. Today, he is a young businessman who runs or is affiliated with several companies, and who will probably do a lot to change the world. He still has passionate feelings about Israel...
April 24th, 2010
I've been traveling to Israel since I was the age of 15 at least once a year, and the deep love for my homeland eventually led to my decision to soon make aliyah. Unfortunately, like many new olim, my parents don't agree with my decision for reasons that at first I didn't understand.
My parents haven't been to Israel in 15 years, and the one time they went it was for a bar-mitzvah trip where they toured for a week.
I needed my parents to understand why I want to move to Israel, and the only way I could do that was to get them to go. After much convincing, I got my mother to register for a trip that my Yeshivah high school organizes every year (and that I had been on 3 times while I was learning there).
As I am writing this, I'm sitting in the back seat of the car as my whole family drives my mother to the airport. I'd like to share with you a letter I wrote to her. I asked her to not read it until she is about to land.
Photo: Tel Aviv coastline by Dovid Eastman
As you're reading this and looking out of the window, you're seeing the bright sun shining over the Mediterranean coastline. That strange land you're seeing is in fact our home land, the land of our fathers and mothers, the land of Israel. Welcome home, Mom!
As you are about to touch down at the beautiful Tel Aviv airport, you're feeling this strange feeling which I felt on my first visit home. Mom, this is the feeling of your soul weeping in joy at finally returning home. A feeling which you have no idea how to react to. If you look around the plane, you may see someone crying, someone singing, someone praying, or someone praising. Mom, these people are all feeling the same thing you are.
We live in a generation where for the first time in over 2,000 years we have a home, a mother land.
A journalist once asked Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former President of Israel, "Why do you people care so much about this desolate land when there are so many other countries where the Jews can settle?" Weizmann answered, "Sir, the question is the same as if I asked you why someone would walk 20 miles to visit his old mother when there are many old ladies living on his same street."
Mom, you are home, your land and your people welcome you with open arms and open hearts. I will miss you dearly, but I know you're in good hands with our own people.
Olim: immigrants to Israel