Today, Revital Shiri- Horowitz talks to us about her life in Israel. Born and bred there and the oldest of three, Revital liked to daydream as a child.
Revital read extensively and was greatly influenced by the written word. She wrote poetry as well as short stories and journals. Her book Daughters in Iraq has been published in various languages and in many countries – a great achievement! During her years, Revital volunteered for Special Service with an army unit, studied Hebrew Literature and Geography at university as well as acquiring two master degrees and a teaching certificate. She is now married with four children.
For more information on Revital, please visit her site: http://www.revital-sh.com/Her book Daughters of Iraq is available on all major websites.
My new life in Israel
After many years in the US, my family and I went back to Israel. Our kids grew up in the US, so moving to Israel was a very big step for them.
Israel, compare to the US is a small paddle. It is so small, that if you drive from the beach (which is our west border) to the West Bank (meaning going East), it will take ten minutes. From the North point to the South it is only eight hours drive and this is actually the longest distance you can go! Along the south border (on the seashores) the drive is three hours.
People do not realize how small Israel is and how life is tough for the eight million who live there, most of them Jews. With Israel being the only Jewish country, every Jew can call this place his or her home; a very beautiful but complicated country. Here, Hebrew is the first language (it was not a spoken language for many centuries) and it was revived by one person whose name was Elezer Ben-Yehuda.
Elezer Ben-Yehuda immigrated to Israel from Russia, a hundred and fifty years ago, deciding it was time to start turning the Holy language from biblical to an everyday spoken one. He forced his wife to only speak Hebrew to their kids and established his own paper. He had to invent many words, since there were (and still is today) many words missing in everyday language.
Returning to Israel was a big step for the family but now, almost a year later; I can say that we are only beginning to adjust. Although life is complicated, there are so many things I can appreciate here. The nicest thing for me as a Jew, is celebrating the Jewish Holidays in Israel. Jewish Holidays are felt on the streets, whereas I could never enjoy or sense them somewhere else. It is everywhere – the food, the closed stores, the school break. Every year, the Jewish people will celebrate a very unique Holiday: the harvest Holiday called Shavuot. In biblical times, this means the bringing of all new harvest to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
Today there are some traditional things we do – like praying and learning Torah all night – it is called Tikun – which means fixing. It is actually trying to see how to make our world a better place and our soul pure. The kids in schools bring fruit and sing for the harvest. They wear white and only eat dairy foods. I love the feeling of this Holiday; I love the peace and tranquility.
I am still learning back where to shop, how to get services our family needs, and oh yes, I miss my son who chose to go to University in the US and did not move back with us. I miss my friends there and I miss my home. I guess every change takes time to adjust. I am still adjusting.
Be blessed wherever you are, Revital