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By Leanne Lieberman

Whilst Mia, a Jewish teen from Ontario, is going to Israel to spend the summer time learning at a yeshiva, or seminary, she desires to connect to the land and deepen her figuring out of Judaism. besides the fact that, Mia's summer time plans pass off course while she falls in love with a non-Jewish vacationer, Andrew. via him, Mia learns concerning the Israeli profession of Palestinian land and starts off to questions her Zionist aspirations. particularly, Mia is disturbed via the Palestinian's lack of their olive timber, and the kingdom of Israel's planting of pine timber, symbolizing the environment down of recent roots. After narrowly escaping a bus bombing, Mia comes to a decision that being a peace activist is extra vital than being spiritual.

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I exhaled a breath I didn’t comprehend i used to be maintaining. “Are there any classes on why we should always be Jewish? ” Rochel furrowed her forehead. “Why we should always be Jewish? ” “You comprehend. ” I knit my arms jointly at the back of my again. “Spiritual discussions of why we retain kosher, or approximately God. ” Rochel seemed pressured. I imagined her pondering, It’s continuously those ba’al teshuvah, those newly spiritual women, who ask these items. She shook her head. “You may still attend our Shabbos retreats. They speak about extra own issues. ” She pulled out a flyer. “There’s one this weekend. It’s backed via the Cohen origin and it’s very not pricey. i feel you’d benefit from the visitor speaker. ” I thanked her and took the flyer. at the hide was once an image of a resort in a grove of bushes below the phrases subscribe to us for a religious retreat. many of the classes had hokey titles like God and also you, forging a bond, however it additionally seemed restful. I had a few spending funds left over from a waitressing activity and from my grad current from my mom’s mom, Bubbie Bess. might be Aviva and that i may perhaps pass jointly. After category I took the bus to the outdated urban. so much afternoons I volunteered on the craft middle or explored the town. I’d attempted to discover an individual to discover Jerusalem with, yet many of the different ladies had signed up for a full-day software. So I went again by myself to the Hurva Synagogue and the Roman ruins of the Cardo. I wandered throughout the Jewish quarter’s restored alleys and dear retailers. within the Armenian zone I sat within the attractive cathedral Aviva had wrinkled her nostril at. outdoor the previous urban I walked via varied neighborhoods, explored museums and frolicked in Liberty Bell Park, with its grove of olive timber. I felt so proud to be a Jew, to discover my attractive state and understand that it had all been inbuilt under fifty years. at any time when I went to the previous urban, I visited the Kotel. i made a decision I needed to strengthen a reference to the wall. I hadn’t grown up pondering it was once unique, so how may well I shape an immediate bond? And so I stood on the wall and allow my head relaxation opposed to the new stones. I’d look ahead to a travel team to squeeze their notes into the wall’s crevices, after which I’d chant from my prayer publication as quickly as i'll, so the ladies ready at the back of me can have their flip. I felt empty, like a prayer computer. The Kotel was once too crowded for God. If God used to be wherever, He used to be in that massive desolate tract area surrounding the town. on the tuition library I’d learn up at the Kotel’s historical past. The excessive clergymen had made their choices and spoken with God there. Centuries of exiled Jews dreamed of it from Russian shtetls and Moroccan mellahs. but if I stood with my physique pressed to these hot stones i assumed, What if it’s only a stone wall, or worse, what if all of the rabbis have been unsuitable and it’s only a conserving wall pilgrims used to piss on? this can be an immense Jewish image, I reminded myself, a religious holy position. The observe icon lingered in my brain. I had realized a narrative approximately honoring fake gods and praying sooner than idols. What used to be the adaptation among praying to God in entrance of the wall or by yourself?

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