A roller coaster of identities and emotions
By: Nelly Ben Tal
Shlicha (Senior Israel Emissary)
I’m out of air and not sleeping at all. You probably feel like me, right?
It’s been 3 months since I moved here with my family, 2 months since we started school and work, and 1 month since the disaster hit us all, the October 7th massacre.
Since then, the emotional rollercoaster inside me and under all of my identities has stopped at every emotional station, and my body feels them all.
Motherhood is perhaps my most prominent identity.
I hug my children tightly, thankful for their safety here, far away from that terrible trauma. Guilty, I hug my kids because I’m not there for friends and family whose children suffer. As I cover my kids up in bed, tears flow down my cheeks, thinking about all the kidnapped children and how they’re treated there, all the orphaned children, all the mothers and grandparents who have empty hands and a bit of hope.
Being a wife, a partner, a sister, a Jew, an Israeli emissary, an Israeli, a resident of Ramat HanNegev now living in Denver, as a new member of this community.
I’m deceived by the roller coaster of identities and emotions, there are so many ups and downs.
There’s sadness, grief, and deep concern.
There’s excitement and strength, hope and pride.
It has its dark moments and its brightest moments.
It’s incredible what people do for each other, for everyone—the Israelis, Coloradans, and the world’s people.
This community raises incredibly large amounts of money for the emergency fund, makes menorahs and bracelets, sends letters, and calls friends in Israel daily.
I’m grateful for the hugs, the help, and the invitation, and I’m inspired by your kindness.
Exactly like you, my days are so complex, and my heart races through each roller coaster ride.
Israel is not alone, we’re not alone, you’re not alone – Am Israel Chai!