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A Light in the Darkness

Yael Eckstein with Jerusalem in the background, at the Mt. of Olives cemetery in the winter (Photo: Oren Nahshon)

Writing at The Jerusalem Post, Yael recalls a dream she had, one that shed light on her home - that Israel does have its problems and can be improved, but that despite that, it is the Jewish people's historic and God-given homeland:

From afar, I saw a border crossing that had divine light shining on it, in midst of the darkness. A big Star of David covered the golden border gates and confident soldiers stood guard. “Finally, safety!” I remember yelling out loud and running as fast as I could to make it to freedom.

As I approached – without saying a word – the gates opened and the soldiers’ stern faces transformed into smiles. “Welcome home,” they said, as I fell to the ground, laughing out loud, sobbing with joy, and soaking in the much yearned-for feeling of belonging.

And then I woke up.

Even though it was a dream, it felt real. I found my sense of belonging and peace on the holy soil of Israel.

And after searching and running over what felt like the entire world, it was the only place where I found safety.

What I have realized in the few weeks since I had that eye-opening dream is that God sent me a gift. In one dream, I experienced the 2,000- year exile and suffering of the Jewish people – along with the miraculous liberation of our ancient homeland.

I have often thought what a blessing the modern State of Israel is to the Jewish people, and how it is the manifestation of the collective prayers of my people through thousands of years of exile and persecution.

But since I had this dream, my heart can finally feel what up until now only my mind was able to grasp...

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