I’m finally home.

I’m home when I walk through the streets and wonder if my forefather Avraham walked on the same spot as me. When I read through the parsha and find the name of my city right there. When I touch the walls of the kotel and tremble at the thought of what it once was.

I’m home when the stranger next to me is family. When the other parent in the playground helps my daughter play safe. When my taxi driver tells me that everything will be alright. When I’m waiting at the bus stop and the old man tries to share his chocolate with my toddler. When the pharmacist yells at me for waiting in line when I should’ve skipped because I have a baby.

I’m home when Purim is a month long, and donuts are seasonal. When Yom Kippur means not a car on the road. When my neighbours are singing in their sukkah and we’re clapping along in ours. When the electronic sign on the city bus wishes me a “chag sameach.” When all the shops are closed for Shabbat and the playgrounds overflow with laughing children.

I’m home when the graffiti says “Am Yisroel Chai” and I smile because it’s true. When the store manager tells me that I have Chabad written on my forehead, and proceeds with stories of his time at Chabad in Shanghai. When my obstetrician shows me his book of advice from the Lubavitcher Rebbe, sitting on his office shelf.

I’m home when I wake up in the morning and smile, because I am where I’ve always wanted to be.