This I Believe: Israel

Maiah - Campbell, California
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Israel is very important to my sense of being a Jew. I believe that Israel plays a big part of who I am. I feel Israel is in my spirit and soul, and is I important to who I am.

I think about Israel almost every day. I want to make sure the people in Israel are safe and that the Jewish religion survives. Even though I live in the United States, I have a deep connection with Israel. I know Israel is there to keep me and every Jew safe. If anyone ever tried to hurt the Jews, I know Israel is there to protect and care for us.

Some of my family roots are in Israel. My grandfather was a nine year old boy when he escaped to Israel. He fled his abusive father and ran away. He knew Israel was a place he could go. He was welcomed onto a Kibbutz. They housed, fed, and educated him. My grandmother had no where to go after her family was kicked out or Morocco. When Israel became a state, her family finally had a place they could call home. My grandfather fought in several wars and later worked at a special site in Dimona. He wanted to make sure Israel could defend itself. It is a relief knowing that my family had a place to go and was welcomed in Israel. This gives me peace of mind.

I remember the sights, sounds, and tastes of Israel. From the falafels we ate to the colorful sand we collected in the desert, the feelings of Israel are deep within me.

I can remember the falafel stand filled with delicious smells of pitas stuffed with falafels, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Each bite I took was so warm and tasty. In the desert, collecting sand in plastic containers made me so happy. I had never seen such bright colorful sand in my life. All the purple, pink, dark red, orange, green, and blue sand was shining in the desert sun.

It is very important to me that Judaism survives. Having a land for Jews helps keep Judaism alive. I want to make sure the Jewish people years from now have a safe place they can call home. I care about what happens to Jews now and in the future. It was great that both my grandmother and grandfather had a place to go that helped take care of them when they had no where else to go. I hope that others in the future will be able to go to Israel if they are ever in the same situation.

Israel is very dear to me and is in my soul. I believe the Land of Israel is deep in me and important to who I am. Israel was part of my family in the past and is part of who I am now. I know that it will remain important to me later in my life and hopefully forever.