This post was originally published in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal.
I am sitting on a bench in Jaffa, overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean to the west and the Tel Aviv skyline stretching to the north. The oppressive heat of summer has finally relented, and a cool breeze sweeps across.
My stomach is too full from the large shawarma sandwich I have just devoured and my hands are greasy, but I am nonetheless content. My boyfriend and I have taken the opportunity – after a long morning of pre-Shabbat errands – to purchase this shawarma from this stand and to dig in on this bench because exactly a year ago from this day, it was my first full day in Israel and this was my first foray into a whole new chapter of my life.
Now, blissfully consumed by a post-shawarma coma, I am able to reflect on my past year in Israel.
One year ago, I chose the road less traveled and proceeded to go down it at full speed: upon graduation from college, I moved to Israel having never visited the country (or many others, for that matter). A