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Israel - A Beautiful Mix of People

Dec 27, 2016

Olives and People. At first they might not seem like they have a lot in common. But I am quickly learning that in Israel there are many connections that may not seem so apparent. Today we had a surprise visit to an olive oil factory called Olea Essence. We learned about how the oil was made, and the different products that could be made from oil. After a very entertaining video, we went to try a miracle-cleaning product that helped to exfoliate, help clear acne, and overall improve the well-being of one’s skin. As the Americans seemed memorized by the slick brown liquid washing over our pale winter skin, I looked at the Israelis who seemed like this was just another day in the life.

A part of me realized, “How could Israelis ever need these products? They are literally all so beautiful.” And no mom- there is no one who has shown interest in being your son-in-law. Israelis have a particular beauty about them that is unlike any people I have ever seen. When talking to our tour guide Lilach, she said that she felt that Israelis held a particularly physical attractiveness because most Israelis heritages come from many different countries, and the blend of phenotypes made it so that the most lovely shown through.

Immediately after having this conversation we tasted olive oils. With noticing my favorite, which happened to be the most expensive (no dad, I did not use the credit card to buy two bottles of this at all…) I tried to see why this one was my favorite. Noticing how this one was made, it had the most blend of a mixed variety of olives that made its particular taste and texture become exquisite to my taste buds.

I suddenly realized a connection to the oils and the people. Not just in the taste of the food or the looks of the Israelis. But rather, the best qualities in all of us come out when we come together and celebrate a variety of our best selves. In the land of Israel, where Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druzes, ashkenazis, sephardis, mizrahis, and many others all come together.

As we carried on the day with going to a bird sanctuary and wine tasting tour, I looked around and saw the beauty of all of us coming together. Even though we come from different schools, have different majors, different Jewish backgrounds, when we come together in this land and we are all our individual selves we are our most beautiful. Under this fourth night of Hanukkah, I found a new blessing in celebrating a light which unites our unique features as one people. I cannot wait to see what new lessons Israel has for all of us finally at home.

Margaret Butler
University of Oregon Class of 2017
Portland, OR


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