To My Beloved Jewish Friends
By Julie Winkelman, April 30,2002
Because  of you, I'm a better person.  Thank you for your endless wealth of wisdom, passion  and desire  for life.  As an American and a believer, I've lived in  Jerusalem for the last two years.  It's  been a difficult two years as I've watched you suffer, morn, and even die.  I want you to know that with every death that came to you, a piece of my own soul was taken.  Every time a bomb went off, I  would  lose  my breath and  fall  to  my knees.  I've felt helpless at times, but would pray with all my strength.  Often, I was depressed by  what I  witnessed,  but  it was your tenacity,  your will, and  your stubborness for life that shook me back to reality. You never stopped, you never quit, and you never gave in, or gave up.  You are a people of the greatest strength I've ever witness-ed.  Your emotions are so real and your purpose stedfast.  I love everything about you.

On Shabbat, I would listen to you sing.  In my heart, I sang with you.   I would shop at your stores and bring with  me a smile and a heart to bless you with.  Though I know very little Hebrew, we still seemed to communicate  well.  I know I'm a foreigner in this land, but you never made me  feel  that way.  Instead, you  welcomed me.  I  took  advantage of  it and came as close as I could. I watched you  dance  in the streets and  pray  at  the Wall.  I  watched  you hold  hands and kiss on the cheek.  I watched the many different  people  pass on the streets,  the children playing in the parks.  I watched the soldiers protect the land and the police guard the city.  I celebrate all of your holidays and bought flowers on every Shabbat.  Though I was on the outside, my heart was always on the inside, right next to you.

As I prepare to go back to America, I want to leave you with this.  My lips will always speak a blessing of you.  I will always stand for the truth of your bravery, patience and goodness.  I will stop  anti-Semitism  wherever  it shows  its ugly head and  I will never forget you as long as I live.  Truly your G-d has become  my  G-d and your people, my  people.  I love you with a fervent love and will always stand with you.  No matter the cost.  I hope, trust and pray that I will have the privilege of living with  you, once again. Shalom and many blessings.
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