Photo Credit: Guy Assayag /Flash90

I don’t know if other cultures have this custom of kissing the land upon arrival. I know the pope does it wherever he goes, but those folks took everything good they have from us.

We have a sensual relationship with this land. It changes us. I wish it changed us even more.

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It’s almost six in the morning here, in Netanya, on the eve of our second Independence Day since coming back. Soon I’ll walk to my shul along the blue Mediterranean, my soul revived by its stunning beauty.

We live in the heart of Israel’s most fertile region, the Sharon. It’s green here year round, with luscious fruit trees dotted with red and orange and pink, as if the landscape were drawn by some kindergarten child.

Yes, it’s definitely the kind of land you have to kiss and hug and promise we won’t be separated ever again.

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