Bottle of Soil

Relationship: Im/migrant

Ever since I visited Israel in the first grade, I knew I needed to move there. When I am in Israel, my body and mind feel the most peaceful and energized. Last year I was privileged to study in Jerusalem during a gap year between high school and college. The time I spent there was critical to the solidification of my decision immigrate. I met so many different kinds of people and went all over the country. Ultimately, I gathered that even though Jewish community is very divided politically and geographically, at the end of the day, they form one community that looks out for each other.   The final night of my gap year program, the school hosted a large celebration to applaud our educational pursuits and personal developments. Among the many objects we were given in the gift bags, there was one thing that really spoke to me: a pile of dirt. Because my school and I believe that the land of Israel holds religious significance and holiness, we were given the soil of Israel in a little bottle and message that read, “may you always carry Israel in your hearts.”  While I’m in the States, I look at the bottle for motivation and reassurance that sometime soon I will be able to return to Israel and put the soil back where it belongs, knowing I will always have more access to it right outside my home. 

Place(s): Israel
Year: 2017

– Allison

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant