Home is where

The flight attendants wish you “Chanukah sameach”

And the airport food is kosher

And the menorahs of the Land could light up a thousand nights.


Home is where

The soldiers are our teens

Defending our land in their best years

So we can pray at our holy sites

Get a cup of coffee with a friend

Ride a bus through the length and breadth of our country.

Home is where

A jeeping adventure is also a history lesson

Matching the unparalleled beauty of dunes and rainbows with the homes of Benjamin and Judah.


Home is where

The outdoor market is jostling with challah, wine, Chanukah paraphernalia, Hebrew trinkets

As Jews, Muslims, and international tourists enjoy pizza and pita and photographing each other

and each wishes the other Shabbat Shalom.

Home is where we create a circle at the kotel that grows and grows and grows

While we sing Kabbalat Shabbat with unnamed strangers.


Home is where

Shabbat is the day of rest

The hotel serves cholent and has a built-in synagogue

Havdalah is musical and inspiring and the guitarist shares family history back to the Yom Kippur war

Telling the story of his father composing Kol Ha-olam Kulo to sing to the soldiers when they were feeling scared and defeated.


Home is where

Ein Gedi has history from the life of King David

Masada and her story go back 2000 years, yet share our synagogues and mikvehs

and the story of the Dead Sea bespeaks Biblical accounts from 4,000 years ago.


Home is where

Two bar mitzvah boys from Cleveland come back to

As they commemorate becoming responsible Jewish teens

With shofars and chuppah and tefillin and joy

In front of the kotel where everyone, friends and strangers alike, wish us mazel tov

Home is where we pack food for one another

And where archeological digs tell the story of our people – our ancestors


Home is where

We care for the disabled and tell their stories in museums

Home is where we bike and walk at sunset along the Mediterranean Sea, the very same sea from the Torah, that was promised to Abraham

As we see all of his children coming home


Home is where the heart is

Home is where you can always come back to, no matter what

Home is where you can be your most authentic self

Home is where you might fight, clash, feud, but ultimately

Home is where you belong.

Read Ruchi Koval online at cjn.org/ruchikoval. Connect with her on Facebook at ruchi.koval and on Instagram @ruchi.koval.


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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