From as far back as I can remember my parents imbued us with love for Eretz Yisrael. We prayed and sang “L’shanah haba b’Yerushalayim” – Next year in Jerusalem,” not only with our voices but also with our hearts and souls.
In the most nightmarish days my mother would tell us stories of Yerushalayim. “One day,” she kept telling us, “we will all be in Yerushalayim. There the trees grow candies. The sun always shines and Dovid HaMelech’s harp whispers in the wind.”
Those words sparked our imaginations and kept us going. They were so vividly engraved in my mind that many years later when I came to Yerushalayim for the first time I was actually looking for the candy trees, and when the winds blew in the middle of the night I was convinced I was hearing the sweet songs of David’s Psalms.
But soon enough I discovered that on those candy trees there were also many bitter fruits – Arab hatred, deadly attacks, internal fighting among our own people. No, this was not quite the horse we wanted.
But still we continue to dream that very soon the trees will have only candies and the sun will shine without threatening clouds and impending storms. That hope never left me even if the horse I wanted had not yet come.
(To Be Continued)