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.
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.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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