What Israel Means to Me

Am Yisrael Chai!

Mallory Mosner
The Judean People’s Front

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Image of a group of Jewish teenagers holding hands triumphantly at the top of Masada in Israel
שנית מצדה לא תיפול

The following essay originally appeared in the now defunct newspaper The Jewish Transcript in 2009. It was also my college admission essay; I wrote this half of my lifetime ago at the tender age of sixteen, having recently come back from living in Israel for several months.

I am sharing this again, sixteen years after writing it, because its enduring message is an important reminder in these times of frightening antisemitism; there is nothing more powerful in the world than to know and love yourself.

Israel is inextricable and elemental to the Jewish soul and being. Every individual, secular person of Jewish heritage may not feel exactly this way, but that does not make it any less true. Most Jewish people who visit Israel and touch the land of our ancestors will understand intimately the profound, visceral, transcendental experience espoused below.

There is absolutely no difference between the love that Native American people feel for the beautiful terrain of America, and what ethnic (and religious) Jewish people feel for the land of Israel. Against all odds, across time and space, Israel is the land of my ancestors, that my parents and their parents and so on have continued to worship and yearn for, even after a thousand years in forced diaspora.

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Mallory Mosner
The Judean People’s Front

Queer non-binary (they/she) Jewish writer and Ayurvedic Health Counselor who loves puzzles, cats and meditation.