Cornell, an intellectual Garden of Eden, has been my “home away from home” for three miraculous semesters. There is only one other paradisiacal location on earth that is as close to my heart as the Big Red: The State of Israel. I deferred my enrollment to Cornell, resisting the allure of its 25-acre Botanic Gardens, to take a gap year at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with its similarly alluring 25-dunams Botanical Garden on Mount Scopus. The miracle of a “nation reborn,” as Israeli author Daniel Gordis characterizes the return of the Jewish people to their homeland, lies at the heart of my deep connection to the State of Israel. I was accepted to Cornell nineteen years after having been born in the Weill Cornell Medical Center; Big Red was my destiny.