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A Trip To Israel

12/09/2021 09:24:24 AM


Sarah Avner, Cantorial Soloist

A week ago today I was landing back in Austin from a 10 day adventure with my family in Israel. Putting aside the cold turned Acute Bronchitis that was affecting my physical self, my mind was in a whirlwind as it took some time to process all that we had seen, heard, smelled, and tasted during our time together.

This trip had no real plan or timeline for what we would do while we were there. It had been three years since we had been able to visit the kids on their home turf and we were up for whatever they wanted to do or needed to get done. This led to some surreal moments of being the parents of a 20 and 16-year-old.

First, arriving at Jacob’s apartment and being met by Rebekah who had not only picked up dinner but also had the table set and waiting for us when we walked in. Of course, we were not supposed to have met her at all as we awaited our COVID test results from the test taken at the airport BUT we did need the fancy clicker for getting in and out of our parking spot as well as the key to the apartment. We received notice of negative tests by 3 a.m.

Second, standing in IKEA in Natanya with Jacob. He had some solutions he needed for his first apartment where he lives with 3 other lone soldiers. With our rental car at his disposal the search began for solutions that would fit in the delivery vehicle being provided. Of course, in the end, something needed to be exchanged SO we also know where the IKEA is when traveling back north from dinner in Ashkelon.

Third, surprising Rebekah’s homeroom teacher by being there – in-person – for her parent teacher conference. Racheli was so very excited to see us, and we were thrilled to meet her without the barrier of technology. We also got to meet Rebekah’s counselor Elad, one of her house-moms Shelli, and as many friends as she could track down.

Finally, standing with Jacob’s commander at his base as he took us on a tour of both the facility and the day to day work that Jacob does when he is there. Now, when Jacob tells us about his workday, we can picture all the things: from the bus stops to his office spaces to his barracks.

Of course, beyond these everyday experiences we also enjoyed our feet in the Mediterranean, connecting with the remarkable host family who has taken in and supported not one but both of our children, walking the streets of Jerusalem, visiting a museum, and food. Shawarma, fresh delicious salads, coffee – some good and some meh – remarkable grilled meats, humus, shakshukah, and sufganiyot (because it was Chanukah after all).

Friends, it is time for our community to head back to Israel. To re-engage with her and her people. If you would be interested in going on a trip email me to let me know. Together, we could experience her: the sights, smells, and tastes of this remarkable place.

Shabbat Shalom

Mon, February 6 2023 15 Sh'vat 5783