My mother and youngest brother (the one who is "only" six years older than I am) are in Munich now.
My mother took her laptop and her digital camera, so I've already seen pictures. Munich looks beautiful. The city is covered in snow, and it seems so peaceful and quiet. I haven't been outside in snow in six years now, and the pictures make me miss the snow even more.
I love snow. One of the hardest things about moving to Israel was saying goodbye to the snow. This winter, it hasn't even snowed in Jerusalem. I haven't had a chance to go up to the Hermon, but friends who've been there say that the snow is all mashed up and filthy so quickly that it's no great shakes.
I've never been skiing or snowboarding, but I'd give a lot to spend an hour outside sledding in the snow, having a snowball fight, building a snowman, and then come back in to a nice mug of hot cocoa. Some things from childhood never leave you.
But would I want to relive my beautiful American childhood in Munich? For me, the shadow of the holocaust hangs over all of Germany. Over Munich hangs the pain of the terrorism that took Israeli lives.
And yet, my connection to Germany is stronger. I was born in Germany. I lived there until I was about a year and a half old. In Germany, I took my first steps, and in Germany, I spoke my first words, many in Hebrew.
So maybe, a little step into nostalgia in Germany wouldn't be so far off the mark. But then again, what could be better than a snowball fight in the Holy City of Jerusalem?!