My heart is full
Filled with love for the incredible people I met
and filled with love for Israel.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been back from Israel for over a week now. Part of me still adjusting to what it’s like to be back in the “real world” yet part of me feels like it’s been forever since we travelled around a country the size of New Jersey on a bus.
I’ve been contemplating this post since I got back. What do I write about my trip to Israel, an experience that’s not only difficult to explain spiritually but also a place thats difficult to talk about now, during this controversial time?
First, I will say it was incredible. From the people I met to the things we saw, the trip was absolutely amazing. If anything being there now, during this interesting time, made it a more powerful experience. We would watch the news at night and think “we are here, right now”. We saw the Iron Dome. Two of the Israeli’s we travelled with were called up for duty– they had to go back and serve in the army. Even so, I am happy I didn’t cancel my trip despite everything going on.
One of the most powerful aspects of the trip was how much I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I am definitely not one to strike up a conversation with strangers, but on this trip 32 strangers quickly turned into mishpacha, family. At first I was really nervous about traveling alone (the majority of my friends have already gone on Birthright) but by the end of the first day it didn’t matter. Our group quickly bonded and blended and I met some amazing people. In some ways it felt reminiscent of sleep away camp where bonds form almost instantly.
Initially 10 days sounded like an eternity– when’s the last time I took a vacation that long? I was shocked though how quickly the days went and by the end of it I wasn’t ready to go home.
A lot of people asked me if I felt safe. It’s hard to explain but I did feel safe and I’m sure other people on my trip would agree.
Thank you Taglit Birthright and Sachlav 30-282 for a truly incredible and life-changing 10 day journey. I will be back soon.