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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I'm an Israeli

Shalom! Ani Malkah Fleisher. Ani Israeli! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, little Melissa Fleisher from Texas, with a 30 hebrew word vocabulary and a bank roll number which dare not be mentioned for reasons of appearing crazy or suicidal, has reached her promised home. My name is Malkah Fleisher, and I am a citizen of the Jewish State. (Send your mazal tov wishes to

No disdainful goyish El-Al worker, no frowning Israeli striker-to-be, no 2 hour wait for a taxi from the Airport, could keep me from enjoying maybe the second most important day of my life. Israel is amazing. It is beautiful here, the work necessary to get my bank account, my health insurance, etc. was Baruch HaShem, relatively painless, and the people who haven't been totally exhausted by the matzav are still raring to get to work and make this country a better place. Posters on highway dividers sport portraits of Rabbis. I wouldn't trade our Israeli frustrations for your American indifference any day of the week.

There's just so much hope here, despite it all. No one might say it, because I'm not sure they see it, but it's just such a clear part of the big picture...
Yishai brought our shofar on the airplane. Landing at 5:00 in the morning to get in before yet another government strike, we step off the plane and kiss the tarmac. Home, sweet home. On the bus, people eyeball our pins which say "I'm Making Aliyah" with a little gleam in their tired eyes. And we get to the terminal. My husband and I survey the landscape and he blows the shofar. Some 30 feet away, a so called "Hiloni" Jew looks at Yishai and says "Od Pam" - "One more time"- with a grin. Yishai blows the shofar and the man, probably in his mid-twenties, just like Yishai, with perfectly warped jeans and a shaved head, stands at attention and puts his hand on his head - his instant kippah replacement - listening intently. He was totally there, in the spiritual moment. At the end, he smiles broadly at Yishai and throws a kiss up to the sky. Never tell me this country is doomed. It just isn't so. We're going to win this thing - not just the right wingers, but all of us, all the Jewish people. We're going to win. Because we're all the same thing, the same body. And I, little Malkah Fleisher, am yet another organ that has grown into place.


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