Updated: Nov 24, 2019
‘It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you…’
A lot of people have to work hard to stay positive about the country that we live in; but for me South Africa is kind of my guilty pleasure.
I know that as a Jew I should be living in Israel.
I know that as a woman I should seek out a country that is, at least, not the rape capitol of the world.
I know that as a mother I should seek out a place to live where the standard of education is high and readily available; a place where tertiary education is not the luxury, if not the pipe-dream, it is becoming here…
And yet, I live here and I love it here.
There are just so many things I love about South Africa. They aren’t grand and they aren't statistically proven or empirically researched. But they are my reasons and they are real for me.
Firstly, I was born here. This is where my life began and this is where I was raised. This is where my parents live, and my family, and my friends. My children were born here and learned how to walk and talk and sing and laugh here. Against this backdrop; my life exists.
Also I love the smell here.
I love that in spring you can smell the blossoms on the air and you know Rosh Hashanah is coming.
I love the smell of the winter nights here too, when people are making real fires from real wood and I almost feel the warmth of the flames on my own skin.
I love how we shake hands here.
I love that the car guard at the grocery shop is my friend and every Friday he wishes me a ‘Good Shabbas’.
I love that I am free to be a Jew here and free to be proud of being Jewish and that my children can grow up as free, proud Jews too.
There are so many small, seemingly insignificant reasons why I love living in South Africa. But the truth is there's no such thing as an insignificant, small thing. All there is in life are the small things; a series of interconnected small “things” which make up the lager whole we call our lives.
I don't want to give up on the smell of a spring evening, or a summer evening, or a winter evening, or an autumn evening.
I don't want to give up.
I probably should want to live somewhere else; but I really just don't.