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A Red-Eyed Goodbye

For the past two and a half months, this is what I woke up to every day: the view from the second floor of building two in the kfar studentine of Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus Campus. This is French Hill. People in cars, on mopeds, on foot going to work, coming home, going to school, to the supermarket, to synagogue, to meet up with friends in the center of town. Places far. Place near. This is Jerusalem.

In mere hours, I won’t get to see this anymore. I won’t be able to go into the Old City or the Center of Town or the German Colony or Rehavia whenever I wanted. I won’t be able to watch the sun set over the Dome of the Rock. I won’t be able to eat falafel at midnight every day of the week. I won’t be able to articulate the sheer feeling of having your breath taken away almost every second of every day. In just a few hours, I won’t be here anymore.

I never imagined that I could become so attached to one place to the point where thinking about leaving it makes my heart feel like it is being torn to shreds. Last week, when we took the bus back from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, I looked out the window and my eyes brimmed with tears upon seeing the sun set over the rolling hills of Israel’s countryside. I thought to myself: how could I ever bring myself to leave this place when I’ve become so completely attached to it? I’m not religious but something inside me just pulls me to this city and this country that I’m about to leave. Every thing hurts right now. I don’t want to leave.


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