Yesterday a very interesting thing happened to me. In quick succession all of the major US and European airlines cancelled their flights to Israel after a rocket fired at the Tel Aviv airport made it through the Iron Dome and landed on a house two miles away. Citing security concerns, the airlines diverted a flight in the air, and stopped all flights for the next 24 hours (this ban has now been extended, so for all practical purposes, Israel is isolated thanks to the terrorists).

A voice that has been a mere whisper in the back of my mind became at that moment very loud and insistent. It said: “Go home! Go home!”

In times of trouble and strife, I have a very strong nesting instinct. I always want my kids home if there is supposed to be bad weather, or an illness outbreak, or political unrest. I stock up even more than usual on food, and I cook and bake like a woman possessed. I like to have everyone in the house by dark, even though several of my kids are now “big”, and if *h is out of town I like him to check in (a lot) so I can be sure he is okay.

But the idea that I would go back to live in Israel is a totally new thing for me. I lived there in my early 20s, and although in an idealistic sense there is no better place on Earth to be, the reality of life there was tough on me. I had trouble with not being fluent in Hebrew, and although I eventually achieved a somewhat clumsy basic understanding, it was nowhere near what I needed in order to function comfortably in another country. Ideologically I was ready to eschew every comfort of American life, but as *h and I started having children it was harder on me to be away from family. After a while we moved to the US, and I never really thought about going back to Israel.

Flash forward to yesterday. As things have been escalating in Israel, I have been feeling more and more connected to the people there. I think this is at least in part due to the very ugly rallies that have been going on in Seattle (not the one I wrote about, and I’m not sure if they are happening in other places…). We live in a very diverse area, with all types of people in close proximity to each other. We have more people in Muslim dress around here than I saw even in the Middle East- but everyone seems pretty chilled out. But at the rally a few weeks ago many of those people marched and carried signs talking about throwing more Jews into the ovens, and how Hitler had it right, etc etc etc. Lovely, huh? After the rally, some of the marchers went looking for “Jewish targets”, which thank goodness they didn’t find- but there’s nothing like finding out that some of your neighbors are not feeling so neighborly toward you to make you glad you have at least one country in the world where you will always be welcome…

In any case, it surprised me very much that my reaction to the world shutting off Israel was that I should get there, STAT. On the other hand, I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me very much at all. In many ways my reaction to stress is to walk toward it instead of to shy away from it. Will I actually go? I can’t really say. Since I don’t make decisions in a vacuum, this will have to be something my family thinks long and hard about. In the meantime, what I do know is that this experience continues to be a wake-up call for me about the state of affairs in my new hometown. Who would have thought that I would move from bad-rep Detroit to politically-correct Seattle only to be in the middle of a potential war zone? You couldn’t even make this stuff up…