One of the greatest obligations we Jews have is to dwell in our homeland, Eretz Yisrael. Fulfilling this duty bring privilege. Yet, it’s costly to answer this calling.
I used to harbor affection for all things blue and green. My world was one of ultramarine and cobalt, of viridian and cerulean. After making aliyah, I developed a new aesthetic. Now, umbers and siennas, cadmiums and ochres stir me. Where once woodlands and carpet-like valleys moved me to develop free verse or to reach for literal canvas, these days, sandy hilltops and burnt-looking wadis provoke me to write and to paint.
It is difficult to know whether I consciously changed to acclimate to my external surroundings or whether my external surroundings, without invitation from me, caused my metamorphosis. I dreamed of living in The Holy Land, but never thought that my desire would become actualized in my lifetime. I was a secular academic whose vision had been limited to two children and to tenure at some state university.