Tomorrow, on Flag Day, I mark the 25th anniversary of becoming a citizen of these United States. If you have not personally gone through what is involved in immigrating - adding a new nationality to the one you are born with whether out of choice or not - I will tell you that it is first and foremost a humbling experience.
No matter the education, socioeconomic background, family, support system, language proficiency or job prospects, moving to a new country is NOT a natural thing. Twenty-five years later I still switch to Hebrew when I do complicated math because all my math studies took place before I moved and were in Hebrew and who needs to use words like factorial in their day-to-day life anyway. Later this year (I gotta do the math for exactly when, but in September I think) I will have lived exactly half of my life in Israel and the other half in the U.S. I am looking for a word to define such an anniversary or equilibrium. Feel free to send suggestions.
Streams of consciousness are a funny thing, but when I read an article by Times of Israel editor, David Horowitz,
about Yossi Klein Halevi on the occasion of his book Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor
being published in paperback and his tour of the U.S. to promote it, I related it to my own personal narrative around nationalities and divides.
The paperback, issued a year after the hardcover, features more than 50 new pages of epilogue filled with Palestinian responses. One of the responders, Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, led a group of Palestinian students on a visit to Auschwitz, which is almost unheard of. Hence the HOPE.
Happy Flag Day - no matter what flag you raise tomorrow, July 4th, on Opening Day or any other day.