“I’m from Berlin”, a simple statement that causes all kinds of reactions. Some people are surprised, some are shocked, some look at me and doubt my Jewishness. Regardless of all that, nothing makes me more proud and happy than the fact that I moved to Israel, all by myself just because I knew that I’d be more happy here, than anywhere else in the world.
Why do people make the decision to move to a foreign country? In my case, Israel wasn’t even foreign. I never considered Germany my home. I always made sure to mainly call Germany the place that I was born in. Home was always Israel to me. Yes, the language is different, the mentality is hard to relate to and yes, it took me a while to get used to the Israeli summer. Still, historically, spiritually and emotionally my soul is and will always be connected to this land.
Maybe I inherited the ‘immigration gen’ from my parents. My father immigrated four times and my mother three times in their life so far. Maybe, thats the reason I never felt home in Germany, maybe thats the reason that from an early age on, I wanted to move away either to study abroad or raising a family in a foreign country. Whatever the reason is, moving to Israel was the best decision I’ve made.
“All the Israelis are moving to Berlin, what are you doing here?”. Believe or not, they are still people that have the perception that Berlin is the ultimate Schlaraffenland, where money is growing on trees. In fact, when you are trying to live a Jewish life with keeping the laws of Kosher or Shabbat, its a nightmare. Wearing a Kippa or a Star of David in public transportation is life threatening, due to the large amount of Arabs and Muslims in the city. If anyone tells me that Berlin is the fastest growing Jewish community in the world, I burst out laughing. Living a Jewish life, means living by the laws of Judaism, it does not mean that you were just lucky that your mother is Jewish.
Berlin will always have a small but special place in my heart. I will make sure that my children will speak German and know, where their mother is from. I’m grateful for having had an amazing childhood and life in Berlin, but now let us built a strong Israel and a more amazing future.