I know it has been several weeks since I wrote anything.
A lot has happened the past several weeks.
Our youngest son and family made Aliyah in July and are living in Ma-alot. They recently moved into their apartment and are busy getting everything set up to make it their home.
I was able to go Home in July participating in a wonderful seminar offered by the Central Agency for Jewish Education and Mofet. The theme was Education and Leadership. I was hesitant about going, but upon looking at the itinerary, I saw that there were a couple of places I have never experienced, and the places I would get to repeat, hopefully I would learn something new. I definitely made the right decision. With the assistance of some wonderful people, I got to go. I learned soooo much! Even the sights and places I have been to several times I learned new information. A couple of things really effected me. The participants went to a couple of cemeteries. Yes, I have been to them before, but we were taken through the them extensively and the information that was given to us woke me up in a way that I haven’t been woken up before. We all study history. We all study about our ancestors, the history of our countries, the people that made all things possible for us. This time it was different. The tour guide/teacher who taught us made me open my mind and heart. I heard our silent leaders. I heard the freedoms they fought for, I heard their philosophies, I heard their love for their state/country through song and poetry. Now I feel my job is to open up the ears of my students and others. I need to wake people up to the history of our Home land.
I also learned how we look at our “secular” brothers and sisters at Home and here in the states. For the most part, Israelis are not secular in same way we are in the diaspora. I have statistics and information that back up what I learned this summer. I will be talking about this during the High Holidays with a sermon called The Jewish Community in Israel vs. The Jewish Community in the Diaspora. The diaspora meaning the US.
Because I have been blessed to go Home several times. I didn’t have the need to take pictures of the places I previously visited which allowed me to take in more information. When we tour a state/country with a tour guide, we are so anxious to take pictures and do not hear a lot of the information. This time I was able to listen closely. It helped tremendously, so, yes, definitely visit places more than once if you are able.
I spent time with our youngest son and family during my second Shabbat in Jerusalem. There is nothing like Shabbat in in our holy city. We went to the Kotel on Sunday and I watched my granddaughter put a note in a hole. I even got a picture of it! Something that will stay in my mind and heart forever. I know the Wall is a retaining wall from our Temple, but there is something very special about it. It has so much history! It talks to me about what my ancestors did 2000 years ago! I feel God probably the same way my ancestors did when we had the Temple.
I got to study at Fuchsberg for a day and met a special friend there. The summer of 2008 I got to study there and upon walking in there at the end of July, it felt like I never left! I pray to be able to spend another summer there one day. The text study there is just the way I like it, challenging and very participative. I learned so much in just the one visit.
The two and a half weeks I spent Home was not enough. It is never enough, but I feel blessed that I was able to go. It woke me up, I heard things I never heard before, and I am rearing to go for this coming school year.
I look forward to sharing a lot with you.