The more I explore places all around Israel, the more I appreciate being able to come home to Jerusalem.
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word Israel is Jerusalem. Aside from the obvious, that it is the capital of the State of Israel, it represents more to me. The diversity within the city, the unconditional love of Israel and Judaism in the city, and the pure care and comfort people have toward one another – it is all so special in Jerusalem. My experience abroad has been shaped by living here, in the heart and home of the Jewish people.
I’ve been to Tel Aviv, “One of the most vibrant cities in the world,” even occasionally titled the “Mediterranean Capital of Cool.” I’ve been to Haifa, the “San Francisco of Israel,” some say, and I’ve been to Eilat, the “Window onto the Red Sea,” as they call it. Every time I come home to Jerusalem from a different adventure, I am so thrilled to walk through the gates of the RIS Student Village. I still can’t believe that I live here, that I wake up every morning and look out my window to see numerous buildings built from Jerusalem stone, that the Western Wall is just a few bus stops away, that world history is right before my eyes – and that I still have so much more to explore in this city of gold.
As Benjamin Disraeli said, “The view of Jerusalem is the history of the world.” The beauty in calling Israel my second home is irreplaceable, and a lot of that love and devotion is thanks to my experiences abroad here in Jerusalem.