High School is finally over. It was a long four years filled with fun and excitement and as well many hours of studying and tests. I loved every minute of it, but now I’m ready for the next chapter of life. I’m nervous and pumped up, anticipating what the next year will be like, so far away from home.
I’ve never been to Israel before. Obviously having been in a Jewish school my entire life, I know the religious significance of this state and as well how much conflict there is there, but I don’t feel that I’ve ever really been a part of that. I’ve been cooped up in North America my entire life and I don’t really feel that I relate to many of the issues that are so far away. In my feeling, Israel is another country, one outside of North America that has lots of beautiful scenery, a lot of Jews, and the schwarma there apparently tastes really good. In this upcoming year, I would like to integrate into the country that I have only heard and learned so much about. I don’t just want to go to Yeshiva in Israel, I want to experience Israel, I want to learn about Israel from a first hand experience, I want to live in Israel.
When a year in Yeshiva is summed up in reference by kids in high school and post high school, the term “flipping out” seems to continue to find its way back into the conversation. Personally, I keep Shabbos, I keep Kosher, and I put my tefillin on every morning, Minyan or not. In my eyes I consider myself a pretty religious person already. However, maturing for a year in Israel definitely includes spiritual and as well religious growth. I would say that while I don’t think that I’m in desperate need of any religious guidance, I’m going to Israel with an open mind and if that includes changing opinions and taking on more responsibilities, then we’ll see where that takes me.
I feel that I am going into this year with a very open mind. Nothing is set in stone. I understand that this year is one that people consider the best in their life where they are free of other responsibilities and they have a chance to only reflect on themselves. After four years of stressful high school that were filled with other obligations and as well four years of stressful college up the road, I am going to take this year to myself. I want to learn, I want to experience, and I want to grow.