Walking the Land
The past, the present, and the future.
While in most parts of the world it is difficult to experience all of these in one sitting, we know in Israel, it is easy. This week has been all of that and more. I have been honored to be the representative Conservative rabbi on the AIPAC Lefell Fellowship trip, comprised of 22 rabbinic students from the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movements across the United States.
We met Chen from Kibbutz Gaza. She took us to her backyard, opened a shed and began to take out rocket after rocket fired by Hamas, that have fallen in her backyard, sometimes hundreds in one day. This was followed by kites and balloons that set the fields around her on fire. Yet, she concluded, “I wouldn’t live anywhere else than next to my family where I have lived all my life.”
The next day we visited the most recent archaeological dig called The Pilgrimage Road, where we can match the footsteps of the Jewish pilgrims to the Temple Mount for the festival holidays. We held in our hands the coins that the ancient Jews wrote, cherut leyerishalyim, the freedom of Jerusalem.
And over the week we have met Jewish and Arab political leaders and American and Israeli politicians, hearing their truths of what the future holds for the many people in this land.
Each morning as we gather the tzitzit before the shema, we ask God to bring us together from the four corners of the earth for the sake of the love of Israel.
Israel is a complicated place. The past, present, and future collapse into one. That is why we must love her even more tomorrow than we do today.