Monday, 12 July 2010

First Impressions of Israel

It is Rosh Chodesh Av and the start of the 9 days. We asked a few women what their first impressions of Israel were.

Here are some responses.

P: The first time I came to Israel - I arrived with bleary eyes – After a long and tiring journey, I was so tired, and barely managed to collect myself, get the luggage, and greet my Uncle. So when he took us through a back road on the way to Jerusalem and stopped at a quaint restaurant for some chicken Shishlik - I couldn't help but marvel at the beauty around me and the warmth and the food tasting so delicious! I felt so at ease and it amazed me! (What gets me more is the fact every time I leave Israel, the tears just flow!)

Shoshanah - it was more of a very tired but relieved feeling that we finally made it to Israel. I'm not the type to get all wound up about this sort of thing. (and rude Israelis don't get me angry like it do some people) Hard to pinpoint when I felt a difference - but perhaps it really sunk in when we arrived to Ein Kerem (home of my Uncle) only to realize he lived in a Cave in the Mountain! (Literally) - it was an old Arab house - and basically it was carved into the mountain - and we had to drive up this cliff to the house - climb a lot of stairs and our room was at the very top! so we settled in - slept and in the morning woke up to a gorgeous view of the Ein Kerem Valley and a couple of mewing kittens! Very eclectic and not something you get in the States! All I remember thinking was - WOW!!!

MM: ! Yesterday was my 8th anniversary of my arrival on E.Y...which led to my getting married and making aliyah (in that order..there were a lot of strikes that summer)...I just felt lifted up by the air. That was the first thing I felt. And I remember the contrast I physically felt between Yirushalaim and Tzfat...I could feel the intensity here (in Jerusalem)..everything was more intense more potent and in Tzfat, the lightness and coolness. And feeling grounded and at at home in Chevron and joy in Tiveria with the water...

C: I cried....I was home....finally....I felt a spiritual relief....

Please send in your first impressions of Israel. The first time you saw or stepped onto the Land of Israel, what did you think, what did you feel? We want to hear your experiences too.

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