New Jew In Town: Blogging Out Of My Comfort Zone

A photo I took in Israel in 2000


I’ve been blogging since before it was cool.
Thanks to my PC-loving dad, I’ve been computer-savvy since I was three. Not too impressive of a feat these days — my six year old nephew can use an iPhone better than some of my friends — but when I played “Wheel of Fortune” and “Family Double Dare” on my family’s Commodore 64, I was most definitely an anomaly.
It’s no surprise, then, that I caught on to the blogging trend early. In 1998, I blogged about my favorite Hanson (Zac, of course). Since then, I’ve blogged out of pure anger (My parents wouldn’t let me drive to New Orleans for the night! OMG!) and pure excitement (OMG! Just found my prom dress! It’s so poofy and wonderful and will most certainly still be in style ten years from now!) I made some of my first friends in Minnesota through blogs. I’ve blogged for Jewish wedding websites. I’ve blogged for PBS.  Somewhere out there in the blogosphere, there’s probably even a recap of my first date with Yoni.
As my blogs tend to be lighthearted and, at times, asinine (OMG! JUST SAW THE LIZZIE MCGUIRE MOVIE! IT WAS SO GOOD! I WANT TO BE HER!) I never thought that I would be continuously updating a blog about the crisis in Israel. But here I am, watching videos of rocket strikes and stalking the news for updates to add to Federation’s blog, Global Jewish Newsline.
I’ve kept up to date on the situation in Israel throughout my life, but I prefer to remain slightly detached in my memories of the country. I like to think of Israel as the place it was to my friends and me 12 years ago, when we visited on a NFTY youth group trip. Where the most pressing issue was getting stung by a scorpion while camping in the Negev. Where the Destiny’s Child song “Jumpin Jumpin” was the number one single. Where we sat in a circle under the stars and sang the bedtime Sh’ma, the words of which are so appropriate right now:
Shelter us beneath Thy wings, O Adonai
Guard us from all harmful things, O Adonai
Keep us safe throughout the night,
’til we wake with morning’s light

The sobering updates I’ve been posting to Global Jewish Newsline are important, but they’re wearing me down. I don’t want to remember Israel as a place where people are constantly running for their lives; it’s not, and I hope it stays that way for a long, long time.
So as I keep posting updated rocket counts and firsthand accounts of terror in Israel on Federation’s blog, I invite you to post some of your favorite memories of Israel in the comments. Let’s remember the good times we’ve had in Israel, and pray for safety so that Israelis can get back to their normal lives — and I can turn my blogging focus back to my oh-so-important life updates (OMG!).