72 Reasons Why I Love and Support Israel

I wrote the first Birthday message for Israel’s 69th Birthday. Now, each year I just add one more. And I can’t wait to re-read this when I am 72.

🇮🇱These are my 72 reasons why I love and support Israel

1. Because visiting Israel for the first time changed my life

2. Because no matter where you live you can be at the beach in an hour

3. Because if you need a 2nd mother, you will always find a good Jewish Ima

4. Because the fear of being a “freier” makes you stronger

5. Because you are never alone

6. Because there is never “between the lines” in Israel

7. Because of the noise of the “matkot” (though I fear you will hit me once)

8. Because the word, “Mishpacha” (family) really means something to you

9. Because I can say I am not Jewish and be welcomed at the most intimate Shabbat dinners

10. Because visiting Israel made me an atypical Eastern European

11. Because of “hummus chips salad”

12. Because of that incredible strength that lies behind you all

13. Because I can walk from a street that is 2,000-years-old to a street that is 2-years-old

14. Because we can curse and then be best friends the next moment

15. Because taking a taxi is like going to a spiritual shrink

16. Because when there is an “azaka” (alarm) and I am alone, I know you will take care of me even if you don’t know me

17. Because you fall in love with me since I can order my coffee in Hebrew

18. Because Israeli women are intimidatingly strong

19. Because every name has a meaning

20. Because I will always feel safe around you as you either were a soldier, are a soldier or just about to be one

21. Because you are the most innovative brains I have ever met

22. Because you welcome multikulti but don’t let go of your culture

23. Because you raise your kids to aspire and to be confident

24. Because I can sit at a cafe for hours and you won’t kick me out

25. Because I can ride a camel on high-heels and you will get me

26. Because eating healthy is so damn easy

27. Because you continuously take me out of my comfort zone

28. Because I can have meaningful conversations

29. Because being around you makes me confident

30. Because of those sunsets

31. Because you gave me my boyfriend (UPDATE: by now ex, but I am still thankful, and I know you’ll give me my husband)

32. Because you remember how far you have come

33. Because you appreciate life every day

34. Because you live in constant terror, but it does not make you resentful

35. Because the more I learn about your history, the more Zionist I become

36. Because Zionism isn’t a curse word, we just call it patriotism in Europe and you are finally catching up

37. Because I can go to a Shabbat service and you will fix up my Bible when I hold it upside-down

38. Because you dance on the streets as if there is no tomorrow

39. Because you pushed me to learn more about myself

40. Because of your “mangal” (BBQ) culture

42. Because of Gaga dance

42. Because I envy your community sense (even if you deny having that)

43. Because you guys are helpful

44. Because you taught me if I want something I need to ask for it (bluntly)

45. Because you gave me more dreams

46. Because without knowing you I wouldn’t be living in NYC (probably)

47. Because of driving through the Negev is something incredible

48. Because of Shlomo Artzi (and Idan Raichel, and Rita, and Idan Amedi and…)

49. Because you made me aware of so many things that I didn’t see before

50. Because you made me a more grateful person

51. Because Judaism is spirituality and you don’t need to be an orthodox Jew to let it touch your life

52. Because Ben Gurion was a genius and you all should get to know his story more to appreciate him (even if he was a socialist)

53. Because you know how to charm a woman (and break her heart in a way that she will still like you)

54. Because supporting you makes me the target of antisemitism and that makes me understand you even more

55. Because the moment you say “yallah”, you become half-Israeli

56. Because you have this beautiful, chaotic disorder that everyone follows

57. Because there is nothing Jews would like more than a good argument – and that is so refreshing

58. Because being Jewish means something else to each one of you and yet you are all so similar

59. Because of the Kotel

60. Because of those incredible views of nature

61. Because of Waze, Wix, Viber and all that

62. Because you let me be me

63. Because you are few against many and you never give up

64. Because you won over 22% of all Nobel Prizes

65. Because Israeli women prove that you can have it all

66. Because Israel has more museums per capita than any other country in the world

67. Because everybody is a potential president – as you all always know better

68. Because when you say hi, you actually say peace on you

69. Because against all the odds, you exist – and you keep on fighting for your basic civil rights.

70. Because you care for others and you are the first to stand up for the Kurds or the first to go and save lives while risking your own.

71. Because I keep on wishing I would be one of you

72. Because you made me find you, THE place where I want to raise my future kids knowing they will be decent people.

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Virag Gulyas

Virag is a digital communications strategist and personal branding consultant. She is also a loud pro-Israel advocate, the founder of Almost Jewish, a pro-Israel movement that aims to change the stereotypes about Israel and the Jewish people one day at a time.

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