"I don't understand why you moved here."


I get this statement from Israelis all of the time. How could you leave your life of luxury in America to come to this place? Heck, I hear it from my wife.


My cameraman said this to me on our way back to Tel Aviv from an assignment in Jerusalem. He lamented that you can't have the big house and big car here as easily as you can in America, that Israel is too small with no privacy and you just can't get away.


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This week, I sat in the press room of the prime minister's office and addressed the leader of Israel. On the same day, I debated whether to accept an invitation to represent my country in an international sports event. 

It's hard to fathom my daily reality here in Israel. I moved to this country less than 19 months ago, with absolutely no ties established here. When people ask why I made Aliyah, I point to weeks like this. In what other country can you arrive, start a brand new career, and less than two years later, sit in the same room as the prime minister? Where else can you so quickly be afforded the honor to be sent overseas on behalf of your nation?


You can't get this in America. You can't enter the news business and within a year-and-a-half, go to the Capitol or the White House every day. You can't start umpiring baseball after a decade-and-a-half away from the diamond, then almost immediately call balls and strikes in international competition. 


Sure, you may be able to live on a small farm in Nebraska and get away from it all. I've been to Nebraska enough to know I'd want to get away from it, too! Just kidding (sort of), Cornhuskers!

Not here, though. Spending last weekend overlooking the Golan Heights down onto Syria, walking around a Lake Kinneret kibbutz as my wife began understanding the songs about the place that she learned in her youth, attending Minchah in a Tzfat shul that houses a 650-year-old Torah scroll...


You don't have weeks like this in America. And when you begin to understand that, it's not hard to figure out why I'm here. You can have your big car and big house. I'll take weeks like this.

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