Dear Israel, I Love You

dear-israelDear Israel,
I have to say, I never thought I’d fall in love with another country, but there’s just something special about you. Something that I can’t explain. A spark. A connection between us that I’ve never felt anywhere else. You’re the one. I don’t know how to explain it, but Israel, I love you.
Nine months ago we decided to start a relationship, although, I have to admit, we were not exclusive. I think it’s time you should know I visited other countries while I was with you. I didn’t think you’d mind. But I always came back to you, Israel. All those countries I visited only made my love for you stronger. Please don’t be mad. I love you. Ever since I first met you when I was 12 I knew there was something between us. It wasn’t until I took a chance on you that I realized how special our relationship truly is. These past nine months of getting to know you have been the most amazing Nine months of my life. Our relationship only grew stronger and stronger as time went on. You have never let me down. Every time I think you can’t get any better, you surprise me with something unique and incredible that makes me fall deeper and deeper in love with you. Over these past nine months you have opened yourself up to me and allowed me to see who you really are. Not the ugly that is portrayed in the media but at the same time not the utopian land many Jews claim to ‘know’ and ‘love’. No. Israel, I know who you really are and while you are not perfect, I love every part of you.
You have given me so much I feel as if I almost don’t deserve you. You have brought out the best in me and proven that even in the worst of times; you will always be there, standing next to me, protecting me. When rockets were falling on us, our relationship didn’t falter or weaken. It didn’t make me feel like we shouldn’t be together. It didn’t make me scared or feel unsafe, it did the exact opposite. It made me fall even more for you. It made me feel safer than I ever have. It made me feel closer to you than I’ve ever felt before. With me in your arms, I feel at home. Nothing could drive us apart.
Israel, you have shown me how even in the face of death and hopelessness, you will always be there to comfort me. You have taught me how to be my own person, have my own responsibilities, and how to live independently. I have learned from you what is truly important in life and what it really means to be a Jew and a Zionist. You have taught me so many lessons that I will never forget. You have touched my heart by showing me the unwavering compassion of people that I could only wish to emulate. The type of compassion you strive for all your life. You have shown me that sometimes all you have to do to be a ‘mensch’ is to hold the hand of a person in need or give someone a smile.  You have brought out the best in me during the worst of times. And you have shown me that anything is possible. If it weren’t for you Israel, I would not be the same person I am now. I can tell you with great certainty that I am a better person after being with you.
You have given me so much and I only wish I could give you as much in return as you gave me. I can’t make any promises Israel, but I will try. I will advocate for you and will not rest until everyone knows the truth about you. Until everyone knows that you are not a monster. Until everyone knows the beauty of you. Of how you are able to be a top-25 economy without having natural resources. How you are able to thrive in a desert. Everyone will know that you are beautiful. From the Golan Heights up north to the ocean in the west all the way down to Eilat, people will know the real you. People will know that you are beautiful in your own unique way that no one can compare to.
And now for the depressing part. My dearest Israel, it is with great sadness that I must leave you. Not because I want to but because I must. My home is calling me. My friends and family are calling me to come home. Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end. But don’t be sad. And don’t cry, because this is not the end of us. You will always be with me. Israel, you are my true love. I will never forget the time we spent together and I will wait, however long it takes, for us to be together.  But until then, I will cherish all the memories we had over these nine months. And while I must close the book on us for now, rest assured, there will be a sequel. And unlike most, this sequel will be better. So Israel, it is with great sadness, and tears in my eyes that I bid you farewell. But this is not a goodbye; it’s merely a ‘see you later’.
I’m leaving on a Jet plane; don’t know when I’ll be back again, oh babe I hate to go”

Forever Love,

Jesse Abelson