Today is nineteen years since I’ve arrived in this blessed land of the USA. We came here as a family. Since then we lost two most beloved male members of it. And – we gained two most amazing little girls. The circle of life?
How did we fare here? Am I grateful, sad, indifferent, cheerful? I believe it’s all of the above.
The country we came to is no longer the same. But, so is the country we left. Moreover, the world is not the same. On the one hand, it is much more open, creative, small in it’s accessibility to everyone, wonderful in its new evolutionary spiral. On the other hand, it’s more arrogant, cruel, polarized and dangerous.
I remember, when I arrived in New York (the capital of the world!), I was trying to find the right word to describe this place. I couldn’t call it beautiful. Moscow is beautiful.
Paris is beautiful
New York is wonderful. A city of wonders.
You can see old tiny buildings next to gigantic skyscrapers, and somehow they all live in seamless harmony. Or, so it seems?
I have a love-hate relationship with this city. You encounter people that are rude, obnoxious and loud. Yet, they can be most caring and kind if need be. I will never forget my walk from my Manhattan office to my Brooklyn home on September 11, 2001. May we all never forget.
This city has places you would never want to venture to. And then – it has Central Park, Riverside Park, Wave Hill and Battery Park. If you don’t live in New York, you can see the pictures of it in beautiful books. But you have to get here and stay for a while to be able to feel it.
During these years I have been privileged to visit many places in this country. Each one has its own face. Tiny cute towns like Tarrytown, NY. My daughter studied for a year at New Paltz, NY, where you can find the oldest street in the country (who knew, it’s French!). I went to big places, like SanFrancisco and Chicago., I drove my girls around a good part of the North East, saw Niagara Falls twice. I am grateful for the opportunity to live and work here. I, certainly, know that my parents would not have lived to the age my dad did (87), and my mom (to a 120!) will live had we stayed in Russia.
This is not the place I want to be. Sometimes circumstances, surely including family tragedies, are really much stronger than us. I never wanted to live here. Visit – sure. The place, where I am going to all my life is a city in Judean Hills, a place, where one can hear The Almighty if they just try. The place, where every street is familiar even if you’ve never been there. The place, where the very air you breathe is different.
Every time I am preparing for my trip to Jerusalem, my heart starts beating faster weeks before I go, and my suitcase is uncomfortably open on the floor of my bedroom blocking my way. So today, my heart beats very fast as tomorrow I am going there again.
Marked by my heavy steps
Slow and painful sometimes
Is the road to the place I yearn for – Jerusalem
So here’s hoping that one day my road will finally end there.
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I have just come across this post on your blog. I have not realized that you were from Russia, but, more importantly, that you and I share the same feelings towards our true home – Yerushalayim.
Brohos to you and your family,
Thanks! We are all in need of brachot these days…
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