Taking off is both so familiar and normal and so incredibly not the same. Tomer at passport control asked – so why are you going to Israel. And I thought – wow the ultimate existential question.
As to who am I going to see – well everyone.
The two armored tanks outside the check in hall were a lot as were the armed Police as well.
The crying babies, black hats falling out of the overhead bins and the jostling in line – like nothing has ever changed.
May we hear the stories of the usual, the new normal and more and may we be able with grace and compassion to be witness to our Israel during these trying times.
As to the answer I did not give Tomer – why am I going?
1. To hug Sabba Asher
2. To bring support to my The Masorti Movement In Israel-התנועה המסורתית בישראל colleagues
>3. To advocate for Omer and all the hostages to come home now.
3. To comfort the mourners
4. To bear witness to the atrocities
5. To tell the stories.
My 2023 bingo card, in fact not a single year of any bingo card, ever had fly to Israel to bear witness to the greatest devastating attack on Jewish civilians on our own land; to cry out in advocacy as we see the kidnapping of babies, children, innocents and their captivity as hostages treated with complete indifference by the world; and to tell the stories of the citizens of Israel banding together in the greatest examples of solidarity, activism and Halutiyut, well since the original halutzim built this land.