We arrived in Israel and something didn’t feel right. Israel was where I had previously found judaism, and right now, amoungst my friends, I felt as if it was being lost. It just felt like there was a sense of “anti”. I can’t pinpoint it though. It wasn’t necessarily #antiisrael
(although that for sure did/ currently does exist amongst my classmates) and it wansn’t really #antijudaism
because, you can’t really be against judaism and be in israel. The two do correlate, and there is no denying that. All I knew was that something was off.
We got our rooms. I had specifically requested to be with the 2 other shomer shabbat girls (although now they are no longer) on the trip. My request was denied.
We spent very little time at religious sites. We spent more time looking at how bad the #arab
conditions are, and hearing from #propalestine
speakers than in the city of #Jerusalem
exploring where we came from. There was a clear agenda & everyone was oblivious.
Friday night, my friends spent the meal on their phones, and later, went out drinking in smoking in a club.
As I walked up the stairs to my hotel room my friends were playing music in the hallway. “Ariel, what song should we put on next” they asked. Maybe they were trying to be nice, or maybe they were making fun of me. I don’t know their intentions but I do know this was hard.
Israel was where I had found myself and found my purpose. And now it felt like my classmates were just stepping and spitting all over it.
And at this point in my life and in my journey to judaism and Israel (one in the same though), I did not yet have information, I had only feelings. I knew how connected i felt but I could not yet quantify it with source or concrete information. I was leaning.
So I was there, in Israel, the best place ever, having the worst shabbat ever; having the worst trip ever.
But this only made my faith stronger. I pushed through. I tried to be an example, but I don’t think anyone noticed.
I left Israel feeling tired. Tired of defending for God & Israel: tired of defending myself.
And little did I know, this feeling would continue for a lot longer... #thisismyreallife #part10