Israel changed my life!

My name is Jane, and this is my very first blog for the Jerusalem Post, and what a better time to write that than sitting in the middle of winter wonderland in Jerusalem.
The sun is coming through and hitting the big trees outside our kitchen window, it makes the view stunning. For a brief moment it feels like I am back in Denmark where I was born and raised, we had lots of snow when I was a kid, so much that our schools were closed and we got to go play in the snow all day. Denmark is set up for weather like this, the Danes are used to it, and know how to maneuver in the snow; but most importantly, they have snow tires on their cars.
When it comes to snow in Israel, it is a very different story, this is a warm and sunny nation where snow is very rare, so of course, they don't have snow tires, come on! :-) I was living in Har Adar last time snow fell in Israel, oh my goodness—that was amazing— it even beat the amount of snowfall that I remember from Denmark.
This time around, we don't have nearly as much snow in Jerusalem, and as I look out my window now, the sun is already putting its arms out and the snow has started to melt. It is not cold enough to stay here, which is really too bad, since it is so beautiful.
I just love to watch the Jewish people enjoying the snow; rain and snow in the Holy Land is a blessing. I know the weather can make it difficult to move around, we actually had to stay home and were not able to attend a family event because it was impossible to get where we were needed to go… But if you have time to just go and play, I encourage you to go and enjoy it, there is nothing like snow in Israel! I was at the post office when an old man entered wearing pants that were too short and sneakers, he looked really cold. He was walking around the whole place looking at the floor, and when he found a receipt, he picked it up and used it to wipe his nose. I knew I had facial tissues back home in a drawer, so I could not help him at the moment; but a really nice lady handed him a pack of tissues before she left.
And this just made me think that even in the midst of this winter wonderland in Israel, a lot of people are not able to enjoy it because they are cold and poor, and it especially breaks my heart when I know that people who survived the Holocaust are suffering in this cold.
I am very grateful to know that there are many organizations in Israel assisting in the work of helping and feeding the poor, and in a time like this, it is so very necessary.
The same with the IDF soldiers being out there in the freezing cold, guarding our borders, day and night while doing their very best in keeping us safe. They are so awesome; because of them, we can live a fairly normal life here and be able to enjoy the snow. My thoughts and prayers are with them every singe day. Most of them are so very young and the conditions in the army are not always easy, but every single one I have met is so proud of their opportunity to serve their nation. They tell me that you meet your best friends when you join the IDF... A BIG shout out to all of them, we love you! This nation was re-born in a day in 1948; this nation is a living miracle, just the fact that Israel is still here as a Jewish nation in 2015 is a miracle! With everything coming at Her down throughout history and today, and for me to sit in Jerusalem on a Shabbat morning in 2015 with Jewish children playing out in the snow with laughter and big smiles during the peace and quietness of Shabbat; with the sun hitting the neighbor’s roof so it reflects onto my laptop, with my breakfast and tea tasting so delicious; and with awesome music blasting out of our speakers, it just takes my breath away in gratitude at the many things I enjoy from living here.
Everything happens for a reason, the word “coincidence” does not exist in the Hebrew language, here they say it is a “God Thing” and I really believe that, so for me to be here right now in this moment enjoying Israel’s winter wonderland while I am able to share my thoughts with you is certainly a God Thing… I am truly in awe of the Jewish people and they way they live and handle everyday life here: they can be stubborn like crazy, they are tough, drive like crazy and don't know what it means to stand in line; all this has made me laugh quiet a few times, but like a friend of mine said: Jane, we don't know what tomorrow brings, we don't know when the next terror attack is going to happen, when war is coming, the pressure we live under is something the rest of the world knows nothing about at all, and they will never understand. So yes, we act maybe a bit more rude than other people, but we live in the moment like no others… I just have to agree completely with what my friend said. That reality has changed me deeply since moving here, I use to be in control of everything, I like to have my schedule planned 2 months ahead, I am never late to anything, I use to be this "perfect Danish lady" being totally in charge of my life… But living here in Israel, I have learned to let go and go with the flow. It has taken me a long time, and I am still learning to do that, and living in Israel, life goes on and people try to live as normally as possible, because that is just they way it is for them.
But what is normal for the rest of the world will never be normal for the Jewish people, and I am applauding them for the way they manage and survive every day.
I have just learned one big thing, unless you actually move to Israel and live here among the Jewish people, you have NO idea of what they are facing every day, and it just makes me want to say to people around the world that thinks they have the right to tell Israel what to do: Be quiet!!! I watch the Jewish people every day; I see their reactions when Obama, Kerry, UN, EU and the rest of them tell Israel what to do. A lot of the Jewish people I meet don't even watch the news any more, because like they say to me, “we don't have any friends any more,” that is just so sad to me. What is coming against Israel and what Israel has to live up to is a standard that no other nation is facing. What is required of Israel, no other nation would do, so how come Israel has do to what other nations dictate?? The love I get every day from the Jewish people because I came here to be a voice for them takes my breath away again and again… If you show love to them, they open their hearts to you and you will forever be their friends. They experience so much hatred from people coming against them, so when someone like me moves here to stand with them, they look at me like I am "crazy" until they hug me and say: “Toda Raba”… The strength I see in them is a God-given thing because of everything they are facing. United they are strong, as a nation unbeatable; but individually, a lot of them are tired from the pressure of terrorism, anti-Semitism, wars, physical and political attacks, and just the ongoing uncertainty they live under every day.
2 of my friends just went on vacation because they were so affected by the war in Gaza last summer, that they needed to get away and breathe for a while, but then there was nothing like coming home to Israel again. Because united they stand! I am not kidding when I say there is no place like Israel, walking around in this nation is whole story of its own, something that I will share with you in a new blog.
Ladies and gentlemen, those are my thoughts on this Shabbat morning, while looking out on a winter wonderland in Jerusalem and listening to children playing in the snow. Snow in Israel, would you believe it!!