By: Anna Kos

September 9th is the beginning of the Jewish New Year and my official two months of living in this beautiful country.
I cannot help but think about the ironic double of this day.
I started a new beginning two months ago and now the  Jewish people around the world are welcoming a New Year, and new beginnings.

I know that this is just a coincidence – but the meaning to me is significant.

I have managed two months without seeing my immediate family, best friends and all the norms I was used to for over 30 years.
It is crazy to think about. Israelis I meet even call me crazy for the drastic move that I made.

Yes, Israel has her challenges – but so does every country.
The weather, food, people and lifestyle – all make me smile. I know I made the right decision.

Yes, I do miss my family immensely especially during the holidays but with their constant support, I know I am meant to be here.

In May, on the third annual JNF University Mission, the group planted trees in northern Israel. Once we were done, we all took turns waving the Israeli, Canadian KKL flags.
When I took the handle of the Israeli flag, I felt something in my body that I could not explain. The same feeling I get whenever I hear Hatikva playing. There is something bizarre about this feeling I get. It is almost like an out of body experience. Whenever I hear Hatikva play, I start to rock my feet as if there an intense form of energy going through. This has never happened when I heard any other anthem, including the Canadian.

These feelings and emotions remind me of why I made the choice. I think when moving to any new country  or have a new beginning you need these reminders to keep you from getting lost when you have bad days. Bad days come, and that is okay, what is important is not to get lost in them. Remind yourself of the good, and slowly, slowly you will see that your new beginning has a bright future.

To everyone who celebrates, I wish you  happy and healthy 5779! Shana Tova U’Metuka!