In mid-October I took a ten-day trip to Jerusalem. My daughter needed help with childcare.
For the past two years, since my daughter moved to Jerusalem with her Israeli-American husband, and my youngest son followed on his own path, working on farms before settling there, I both bemoan the long distance, and revel in the unique experiences I have had.
Arriving on Friday afternoon, I set out from my Airbnb on foot to my daughter’s apartment. Turning a corner, I heard “Hi Mom!” and looked up to see my son on his bicycle. It was a magical welcome!
In Jerusalem, I walk all the time, primarily to playgrounds with my granddaughter, Rivkah. I am surprised at how familiar things have become. I have a favorite shul and my “go-to” jogging routes. I stop by my cousin’s. I connect with a childhood friend.
I’ve experienced special moments around holidays at all times of year, most recently dining in many Sukkahs, and watching Torahs danced through the streets. In May, I sang a moving Hatikvah among a diverse group of Israelis gathered for Yom HaZikaron. And always, I take in the peaceful ambiance of Shabbat coming on… the light changing, the streets quieting.
My son joined my son-in-law in a traditional woodworking venture—Bread For Two Days—making and selling challah boards and other pieces. My daughter is completing her economics PhD and looking for jobs in Israeli academia or high tech.
I am grateful to my TBE friends who ask, “How is everyone? When are you going to Israel?” (Answer: My husband, Joel, and I are going in December for a month, when the second baby is due.) Our California-based son will join us, too. Yes, it’s really hard having family so far away. And, yes, we enjoy wonderful visits with them in Jerusalem.