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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What It Means to be a Jew in the United States when Israel is at War

I had planned to write about the rest of our staycation today--but I'm all about blogging from the heart, and that just wouldn't be from my heart right now

What is on my heart today?

This place. Israel. My family is there...right now. My cousins are preparing to go into Gaza to relieve troops that are tired from fighting. My friends dot the country, north to south. But even without all of those personal ties, I quite simply love Israel. And when you love something like that, watching it go through this is heart-wrenching.

So what does it mean to be an American Jew during this war?

It means...checking the CNN every twenty minutes or so for updates. And then double checking on Google just in case something even newer is up.

It means...checking Facebook because you desperately want to talk about what is happening, and then feeling frustrated at some of the talk you see.

It means...walking around on eggshells, distracted for days.

It means...reading the names and stories of the dead, and then seeing their photos--and the images of the normal, mischievous boys that could have easily been my husband or brother or son hit you like a slap in the face.

It means...feeling very different from the rest of the world, that continues on as if everything is normal.

It means...feeling frustrated. And angry. And alone.

It means...living in one place while your mind and heart are thousands of miles away.

Libi bamizrach, vi'anochi b'sof hamaarav
My heart is in the East, and I am at the end of the West.
--Yehuda HaLevi

A few more photos of the country I love:

What are YOU thinking about today?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Staycation Fun

This past week, we took a little vacation. A staycation, to be exact. I decided that traveling a long distance with two young children and then being cooped up in a tiny hotel room for several days was not an experience I was looking forward to, let alone willing to pay for:) Thankfully, we had a fun time exploring our own next of the woods!

On Day 1 (Sunday), we headed to the zoo!

Little Miss was super excited beforehand, but wound up being a little (read: a LOT) scared of the animals. Sigh. She did look super cute in her sunglasses, though!

(Baby boy was rockin' the sunglasses, too!)

(It's basically impossible to get decent family pictures of us in this stage of life, but I try!)

Day 2 brought a trip to the Jewish Children's Museum in Brooklyn, which was really informative and fun!

There was a new floor of exhibits since I had last visited with Biblical history and a tour of modern Israel!

On Day 3, we left the kiddos at daycare and went to get massages and have some lunch, plus tour NYC!

Our delicious lunch!

 Raspberry creme brulee...

 A couple selfie on Wall Street:)

We also headed to Popbar, a make-your-own gelato place I've been dying to try! You choose your gelato or sorbet base, your chocolate or yogurt dip, and nuts, candy, coconut, etc, for a topping.
SO so good.

And then, on Day 4 we packed up and headed up to the beach!  Stay tuned for Part Two of our staycation!

Where is YOUR favorite place to travel to?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

In Memory

I had a whole other post planned for today--but in light of the news, it doesn't feel right.

Today, Israel buried three of our boys. And even if we never knew these boys, even if we weren't physically within Israel's boundaries today, our whole community has been in morning.

As one of the eulogists pointed out, we have lost more than children--we have lost future grown men, sunny wedding days and starry nights, newborn babies, and a whole life full of memories. Three lifetimes worth of experiences that should have been had but will never be.

May G-d comfort their families--and give us the strength to continue to create light in this sometimes dark, dark world.