I am the unofficial family historian. As such, I have tasked myself with gathering and preserving my family’s stories. We are a Jewish family, so that means a story filled with persecution and migration. The Jewish family has been a transient people for centuries, but now we don’t need to be.
My grandma Adele’s ancestors migrated from Plonsk to Ostrow Mazowiecka, Poland in the 1830’s and from there to the four corners of the Earth in the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries. Around the same time, my grandma Evelyn’s family moved from Grojec to Radom, Poland, though most of those relative’s descendants perished in the Holocaust 100 years later. My grandpa Fred’s ancestors were driven out of Warsaw, ending up in Lodz, Poland, likely as a result of the 1881 Warsaw Pogrom.
Today I am an Israeli citizen. I am a citizen of the Jewish state. I wake up each morning and I am amazed that I live in a country with a Jewish majority, a Jewish government, and a Jewish military protecting me, one that I will be joining on April 26th. Even though I was born in the fourth decade of the Jewish state’s existence, I am still amazed that we actually have a state to call our own.
After two millennia of wandering (we even have a plant named after our situation!) we have finally come home. In this case, I define home as a place of safety. It may sound ridiculous that a Middle Eastern country that has been fighting wars with its neighbors since day one (before, even) can be considered safe, but it is a special type of safety that comes from being a Jew here. 2,000 years later, here I am, surrounded be Jews speaking Hebrew and celebrating their birthdays according to the ancient Hebrew calendar. It is an amazing feeling that I can not properly describe in a blog post. Come visit and feel it for yourself.