“I am Home.”

H e a t

pierces to the core, sweat drips from my

forehead and legs and neck and I think it’s coming

out of each and every one of my pores.

In this unbearable heat,

I’m sweltering

melting, even.

But along with the spirals of sweat

comes the stress and pain of years passed.

Israel brings about


Not just mirages in a hazy desert,

but realizations of who I am as a person

and what I want in my future.

Being surrounded by endless seas,

vast deserts and seemingly giant mountains

could make one feel small and insignificant.

But although I’m 5’1”

and although the heat never strays

and although all of the land features are larger than life,

I feel at home.

Israel has scooped me up,

wrapped me in blankets safe

and warm (almost too warm).

I’m surrounded by interesting people

and culture,

and such vibrant life.

With this all, I’ve found so much inside myself

and in the beautiful people around me. I am home.

by Elana Lipkin
Participant, Group 9

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2 Responses to “I am Home.”

  1. avatar
    Saba Jerry July 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm #


    We are very proud of your accomplishments on this NFTY program in Europe and now Israel. Your poem resonated with friends throughout the US, Canada, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Israel. You sound like this trip has transformed you into a Zionist chalutz, which is wonderful. The poem has been republished on the New English review blog, The Iconoclast and shortly on the Connecticut Jewish Ledger. It has been posted on Facebook. It has reached thousands.

    We love you very much and know this has been a transforming and enlightening experience. You certainly have honed your writing skills.

    Kol Hakavod v Ahava

    Saba and Jean

  2. avatar
    Grandma July 22, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Dear Elana,

    Your poem really touched me. It says a lot about you and a lot about what Israel has come to mean to you. As Jews, the world has not been kind to us, but the fact that Israel exists says to the world that we are survivors. Your trip has been amazing. It is one that you will look back on for the rest of your life and Gd willing, you will have an opportunity to return.

    The pictures of you are glowing. It has been a pleasure to keep track of you. I read the itinerary everyday.

    I hope that you are making new friends that you will be able to stay in contact with once you return home. Perhaps some of them will even remain for a life time.

    I hope you are taking good care of yourself. I miss your hugs and kisses and look forward to them and to you as soon as you get home and I can’t wait to talk to you about this trip.

    I love you Grandma.

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