This place is like the belly-button of the world–right in the middle of everything. I’ve been here in Israel for one week, and so far everything I’ve seen is connected to something else. The dry hillsides remind me of California. The busy marketplaces remind me of Asia. The bearded old men remind me of Brooklyn. I managed to live almost thirty years as a Jewish American without ever setting foot in Israel, but now it seems to me like all of my travels to other parts of the world have always been touching Israel in some way or another. Italy, Korea, Cambodia–had I been very very determined, I could have walked to Jerusalem from each of these places. Not that it would have been very practical, but still, I could have.

So I have spiraled inward, to this place in the middle of everything. It is both familiar and strange, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it yet.

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