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Monday, June 8, 2015

When Did THAT Happen?!?

I'm serving as tour guide for family who are visiting me in Israel. I'm so delighted to have them here, and to share my world with them. Not just the touristy stuff, but the real heart and soul I've connected with in this Holy Land. And what I've noticed in sharing the Israeli narrative, is just how much I've internalized an Israeli story - how much the story of Israel has also become my story.

When did THAT happen? Was it last summer when I first got here and just felt a kind of at-homeness with myself that was very new? Or when I went to Europe to explore the story of the Holocaust and then returned back here, feeling and tasting and seeing the river of blood and tears that brought us to this land? Or when the war started, and I had no thought to leave? Or when I was supposed to begin rabbinical school in Los Angeles, but couldn't leave Jerusalem?

Or when I learned more and more about the complexity of the issues and life in Israel, and understood that there are no easy answers, but that the peace and prosperity of one peoples can never be at the expense of another? Or when I understood that I don't stand on one side or another here - I stand in the middle with all the struggles and joys that life here offers?

I don't really know when that happened, but I've seen it in myself with greater clarity as I share the Israel I love with the people I love. I want them to see and understand and experience it as I have. I want them to feel the same thing I do. That may not happen, but I didn't know how much I wanted it to until they arrived. I want them to know that life here, with all the politics and complexity, is rooted in a story thousands of years old, and it's THEIR story, OUR story, and we're still writing and telling that story, each of us.

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