One of my earliest memories is the first time I cast eyes on the Kotel.

I was 5 years old, and I was already under Her spell. After experiencing the Kotel, though, I was hooked.

I was hooked on the vibrancy of Jewish people of all different kinds coming together to pray.

I was hooked because of the technology protecting us juxtaposed with this ancient wall that reminds us of who we were, who we are, and what we have the potential to become.

That was the moment I knew. I knew that my life would be ruled by Her, dedicated to bettering Her, and that my I would raise my children to feel the same.

Fast-forward 26 years, and I still feel the same.

The City of Gold has become the city of innovation, although history still permeates the very air we breathe.

Our love affair has been tumultuous at points, but my love is stronger than ever. When She is happy, I have danced in Her streets. When She got hurt, I have been in pain. And when those who seek the destruction of Her beauty, vibrancy or diversity come upon me, I am ready to defend Her.

She has given me so much- Her parks have hosted me, Her stones have comforted me, Her people have taught me everything.

And when I wake up every day grateful that I call Her my home. My Yerushalayim. You may scoff, but hey, I’m hooked.

Naava Shafner

Posted by Naava Shafner

Naava Shafner was born in the USA, but her soul took flight the first time she breathed the Jerusalem air. In 2014 Naava co-founded ImaKadima, an organization that supports career minded mothers and advocates for family friendly workplaces. Naava's hallmark is her passion- for Jerusalem, for career minded moms, for her family, and for making sure Israel lives up to its potential to be an "Or Lagoyim", a light unto the nations. You can usually find Naava searching for a donut, extolling the benefits of being a career minded mother, fighting for women's rights, or keeping up with her three energetic children, Lavi, Shalhevet, and Tikva, together with her partner-in-crime Ari. You can follow Naava's exploits on Facebook.

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