Saturday, November 24, 2012

No Place like Home?

Born in New York, moved to New Jersey, moved to Boston, back to New York for college, Toronto for grad school, Israel in 1997.  I've been around, and perhaps the fact that I don't have one space where I can say, "I was born there, I grew up there, I have roots there," that allowed me to move to Israel to start fresh.

The only house that ever stayed the same, an emotional constant for me, was my grandparent's place, but now that they are both gone, the house feels empty and sad.  I would rather remember it when it was infused with the sounds of family and the smells of my grandmother's cooking and baking.

On this trip thus far, I have spent a week with my brother, or as Raphaela calls it, "Hilary's House" in Washington DC, and while in New York for Thanksgiving, I visited my aunt and uncle; theirs is a house where I spent many weekends during my college and post college years.  Now Raphaela and I spend the last leg of our trip in my parents' house in Boston, where I did not grow up, as they bought it just as I was leaving home to go to Barnard College.

My home lies in Israel, where I have given birth to my daughter and started a business, though I would be fibbing if I said that I will not miss being surrounded by familiar faces and family.  I think that Raphaela in particular will have a difficult time returning to our Jerusalem apartment, after spending two weeks in multiple story colonial homes with big back yards and crunchy leaves.

Today in synagogue, the Rabbi gave a speech with the intention of mobilizing his congregation to empathize with and support Israel.  While his motives may have been positive, he manipulated facts and portrayed a skewed view of life in Israel, the place I actually live and raise my daughter.  I felt angry, and wanted to interrupt him in the middle and say, "Hey everyone, we may have troubles at the moment, surrounded by enemies who have wanted to wipe us off the map for quite a while now, but we live a rich and beautiful and almost normal life. We are not all war refugees or orphans.  We appreciate your help, so come support us by visiting, step outside your suburban illusion and experience it first hand."

I think I am ready to go home.

1 comment:

Midlife Singlemum said...

I was wondering, after such a great experience with family, if you'd be tempted to stay. Good that you had a fantastic holiday and good that you are ready to come home. That's how it should be.