I’m afraid to get to the border only to be told that I don’t belong, to go back to where I’m from. I’m afraid of what comes afterwards, being put into a room with bunkbeds and other women were also told they don’t belong, waiting for flights to depart them home.

I just want certainty, to go back to the place where I left my mom’s teapot and my grandfather’s cup, where I left piles of shoes and winter coats. Where I’ve committed to live part of my life. I’m afraid of the wasted energy of arriving there and going home and coming back. I just want to get started.

I don’t want to fly back to the United States to pick up my visa from the San Francisco consulate, and then catch the next flight to Israel. 20 extra hours and $800 round-trip sounds horrible.

And yet the alternative is also terrifying: flying to a country that might not except me into their borders, being interrogated, not being sure of my safety.

Do I have a choice? What is the choice? Should I risk not being allowed into the country to save 20 hours and $800? How big is the risk? Is it worth taking the risk if the risk is small?