On board ElAl music plays softly on my headset, a lilting melancholy tune as we taxi. Thoughts of the Judean
hills and views of Tiberius flit through my mind and my eyes are suddenly moist with tears.
I’m surrounded by joyful laughs and children’s giggles at the end of a vacation or the wonder of flight and the journey home. But, not me. I am leaving home as we climb into the sky above the Mediterranean.
Brothers, newfound friends and maturing relations, in the Land would call mine a “Jewish soul,” but I was reading Herzl a little while ago. Like his vision for the Jews and a place for them to live, he understood keenly that it begins with identifying as a nation.
I identify with Israel, not as a Jew, but as a son of Abraham, Isaac and jacob, a descendent of the Northern Kingdom, the house of Israel, Ephraim – Judah’s brother.
I am Hebrew, an Israelite. I have crossed over. I belong South of the Jabbok in the foothills of the Golan. It is my native soil, the place I am destined to thrive.
Thrive!! This is what I want for kol Israel
and for my family, B’ney Yosef. We must, as a people, embrace our identity and turn our faces toward home. We must set our jaws of flint and spines of steel. There is nothing else for us. No more squabbling, dividing or competing. No more delaying, waiting or holding back.
We must unite around what we share and set aside those things which divide. Come together as one voice, one face, one man.
We have been scattered. Now, it is time to be gathered. Listen! Hear the call of the Land, the voice of her people and the footsteps of the Messiah. Our time has come. The exile is over.
Hear me! From 35,000 feet over the Med, “Awake!! Your time has come!!”