Its generally understood that if I am in one place I can’t possibly be in another. Some stories of the Baal Shem Tov -Rabbi Yisroel (Israel) ben Eliezer (רבי ישראל בן אליעזר August 27, 1698 (18 Elul) – May 22, 1760), turn this concept up-side-down but that’s another discussion. Simply put:
I’m in Israel, I can’t be in America. I’m in America, I can’t be in Israel. Right? Kind of.
I’ve been living in Israel for almost 12 years and have been blessed with many amazing friends. Even before this incredible period I was blessed with good friends and one of the hardest parts of moving such a great distance was leaving those close relationships behind. But as we all know, the Land of Israel is no ordinary place and although the experiences we have here can be like everywhere else they also have the potential to be a lot more.
When it comes to people, I’ve found this an intriguing eye opening curiosity.
For instance, on occasion while crossing a street or sitting on a bus I’ll see a man or a woman with features or mannerisms that have a striking resemblance to people I know from the land where I was born. They aren’t the same people but it seems a part of them, a striking familiarity, exists here.
I’ve always felt a piece of every corner of the world can be found in Israel. Desert, mountains, forests, heat, cold, rain, snow, high elevations, low elevations -Israel has it all, albeit on a small scale. So why not people?
Its not the same as the entire self being here but in essence it is and this is no mere coincidence. This essence has a purpose whose fulfillment is part of the master plan, which includes the Land of Israel. This place wants everyone and will do everything it can to court you and like a committed spouse continue courting even after the wedding bells fade. But even if you turn down the offer and even if its for a good reason you will nonetheless end up here.
The land may spit you out like she’s done to nations in the past but her goal is to bond with all the nations of the earth. So buy a plane ticket or stay home; either way your reservation is already made. You may not realize it but a part of you is looking across Jerusalem right now.