Thursday, June 20, 2019

A Flourishing, Live Country

Forty-seven years ago I came to Israel for the first time. My seven-week tour kept me busy with museums, hikes, holy sites, swimming, working on a kibbutz, tourist stores, and attractions. During my free time I met distant relatives and hung out with friends from other groups. I had a wonderful time but the thought of Aliyah didn’t seriously enter my lexicon.

Two years later I returned, this time with my husband, for three months. Most of that time was spent on a kibbutz but we managed to get some sightseeing in. Once again moving to Israel wasn’t part of our vision for the future. Eight years later that all changed.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019


When I was a child Smokey-the Bear taught us that only we could prevent forest fires. We all knew playing with matches was wrong and no normal child wanted to be responsible for causing a fire. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case for many residing in Israel nowadays. In some circles arsonists are even glorified heroes.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

A Complete Miracle

It was early Sunday morning, June 2nd, the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, the day that Jerusalem was reunited.  From 1948 until the second day of the Six Day War in 1967 no Jew had been allowed anywhere near the Western Wall, the last remaining structure of the Holy Temple, our holiest site.

Now, fifty-two years later, I could arrive there in less than an hour if there were no traffic jams. This particular Sunday morning there were none and as I scurried through the Arab market, down the stairs, and onto the Kotel Plaza I was overcome with thankfulness for the miracle which I cannot take for granted.

With my gratitude, however, there was another emotion, not as positive. I knew that the miracle of the Six Day War was not a complete miracle. We were still barred from the Temple Mount. We were still without our Holy Temple. We were still waiting for all the Jews to come home and true redemption.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Tear Gas At The Kotel: reprinted from 2013 in honor of Jerusalem Day

The Temple Mount is in our hands. That announcement shook the world during The Six Day War. As a young teenager I did not really understand the significance of the declaration. I do remember, though, about a month later being at my cousin’s house when she received a remarkable phone call. This call came from one of her teachers, a devout Christian. He wanted to know how he could contribute to the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. At that time neither of us had any idea what he was talking about.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

What a Legacy

My week began with a funeral. The deceased wasn’t a terror victim nor an injured soldier. He wasn’t a child or young parent felled by a cruel disease. This man was in his nineties and he died of old age. Normally our paths would never have crossed but my son married his granddaughter and we became family.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Redemption of Gush Katif

In Israel this week the Haftarah we’ll read is from Jeremiah, Chapter 32. Many of Jeremiah’s writings are full of doom and gloom, rebukes of the nation and prophecies of the destruction of the Holy Temple. This particular Haftarah, though, is one of comfort.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Remembrance Day

As I opened my prayer book this morning I heard the beep from my phone. Only seven a.m. and already my daughter was messaging. Except it wasn’t a message, rather a clip, a clip for Remembrance Day, a clip about her husband’s officer who’d been killed in Operation Protective Edge almost five years ago. I didn’t want to look at it.