Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The passing of the year....

It is Rosh Hashanah again. Another year has come and gone & I have grown older (my hair greyer), and hopefully wiser with it. We now are starting our second year in Israel. I hardly ever post a new blog, and for that I am sorry. It's not that I'm less inspired, certainly I am more busy.

At this time of year we are to take an accounting of ourselves. Makes ammends to all we injured. make repairs to ourselves, recheck our footing, are we headed in the right direction?
To all of you, my dear friends and family, I heartily and sincerly offer my deepest regrets for any wounds I may have inflicted. Please call me or write me and tell me if I erred towards you in some way so that I can make true ammends, not this generic splatter of words across the page.

And how is myself? Where am I headed?
Our lives have changed dramtically in the last few months - seems only yesterday that we were facing the changes of living in a new land, now we are again living in a new home, a new community and JDC has new jobs (yes plural!). Ari has a new school and new friends, Tzachi has a new commute and a new mandate for study and personal application. So the land is requiring more of all of us these days. But I know that with hard work and perserverance we will find our peace here in this new place again.

I've been feeling a bit lost, not having purposed this move ahead of time, we just needed to find a place & this place found us. It was unexpected and unplanned this coming to a new community. But the people are very warm, they have welcomed us with open arms, the house is very comfortable and hugs us every night. And now for the first time we are really living in the land like we are supposed to - struggling to make ends meet, and meeting the ends themselves sometimes!

We are still in-between a bit. Half of our stuff in storage hither and yon in Modiin, but with JDC working so many hours we haven't had time or energy to get it all moved. Now we have to though, Sukkot will be upon us before we know it & my psyche needs to be settled all in one place by then. It will help with the lost-ness in my mind.

The weather has changed already - suddenly on Rosh Hashanah evening the clouds and the winds came up & blew summer away. So it still gets hot during the day, but not as hot, and the air has a bit of sparkle in it. Mornings tend to be cool and there's often a hint of leftover rain in the air as I go out on the 3rd floor mirpeset on my way to wake Tzachi up every morning. And sometimes in the evening you need a sweater. It reminds me I need to say goodbye to last year. Thank it for all the goodness it brought me, take to heart the lessons it shared. Be grateful for the time it gave me and all my loved ones. Of course all those gifts are really from HaShem, and all my gratitude belongs to him.

And the future? So much is going on in the world these days, I look at the economy in the U.S. and then worldwide, and so many people I know are struggling as much as we are. But my hopes and dreams are just as big as they ever were - maybe bigger because I know that somehow, someway, HaShem's plan will play itself out in all this craziness we humanity have built.

We made some new friends recently and they asked us why we came - I remember recanting a story that I have come to love because it tells so much truth of what is in my heart, things we don't necessarily talk about everyday, but it's still there. So I will tell this story again here and then leave this blog for more serious pursuits... And I promise not to stay away so long next time.

In February of 2008 we and the boys took a pilot trip here to Israel to scope out the land and choose a community to move to. When we finally headed back to the states after an extended trip (we stayed a month) I felt so lost on the plane going back to the U.S. I knew it was only for a short time & that we would be returning permanently very soon, still my heart burned. On the flight back we all got divided up on the plane and I found myself sitting next to a young Israeli man, heading home to New York. He asked me if we had been on holiday to Israel. I told him we had come on our pilot trip and that we had chosen a city to live in and a shul to attend & schools for our sons. He was amazed. "You are Americans, you live in the U.S? " Yes, I said. "But why would you move to Israel?! Life there is so hard!" I told him, it's my home. It's the only place my heart is happy. I told him that he and his family have had their turn. That they had been standing in the gap & watching on the walls for all these years and the hope in their hearts had withered and dried out. He nodded agreement. I told him it was now our turn, our hearts are filled with hope and purpose. And we will now take our turn standing in the gap and watching at the walls. We will take our turn to try to live holy in the land and fulfill the purposes of G-d. We will dance and sing and daven on the holidays. We will say a shekeanu when the figs on the tree in our back yard are ripe. We will wonder at that glorious sunset over the Medditerranean. We will dance in the first heavy rain of the season. We will laugh at the scurry of the white gekko on the white stone wall beside our garden. We will stand on the Palmachim Beach and gaze at the millions of sea shells on the shoreline. We will go to Beit Guvrin and listen to the melodic echos as we sing in the bell caves. We will climb the mountains of Ein Geidi and thrill at the cold water in the pools when we jump in. We will listen and then join in with the chanting and singing of morning prayers at the Yeshiva where Tzachi goes to shcool. We will stand in awe at the central bus station in Jerusalem when we realize that everyone in the massive crowd is Jewish like us. We will wonder why the traffic into Tel Aviv is so horrible on a Sunday morning. We will honk at the guy in front of us before the light turns green. We will say to ourselves what in the world was I thinking coming to shop at Rami Levi on a Thursday night!

We, yes even we will be Israelis.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rifka, John, Tzachi and Ari

    Wanted to wish you Shana Tova and remind you of the Fun we had last Sukkot together.....Your blog is sooooo beautifully written Kol Hakavod

    Shanna Tova Umetuka , we hope and pray that you will prosper and succeed in the land of Milk and Honey together with all past and future Olim Chadashim Lots of Love
    Tracey R