We have 36 hours left in Israel, and it has been absolute bliss! We both feel as if we have been here for weeks. We packed so much into 7 full days, saw so much and experienced more. We visited with people from all walks of life, friends, old and new, and family. We saw people who knew me way back when I was in diapers, bumped into school chums, and cemented family bonds. We visited ruins, and new developments. We heard Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau speak in Modi’in, and we sat on the beach in Netanya (I had a beer on the beach at 10 am, because, well, because I could!). We visited kibbutz, went shopping in the midrechov, and ate our way through fast food places. We davened at various graves – didn’t get to Amukah tho – my son put on tefillin in many different locales. I had wanted him to see the real Israel – and that’s what he has seen.
More than anything, after 7 years away from Israel, and some life changes in between, this visit has given me a huge sense of peace. Standing at the kotel brought me full circle.
My son has had the time of his life. I wanted so badly for him to have a great time, and maybe get a feel for his land, but what I didn’t expect was the depth of emotion and connection that he has expressed to me. Driving along the road between Efrat and Rosh Tzurim, as he gazed out across the rolling hills, he exclaimed “I belong here”. What more could I have asked for?