It is a gift to travel the land of Israel with people who are vising for the first time, who immediately sense the awe in the holiness and uniqueness in the mundane. It is a gift to travel throughout the land of Israel with people who have been here many times, who always find something new, something so fulfilling and exciting.
It is a gift to be with the youngest members of our group (we have seven children ages 7-15) who are having fun and being silly, as kids should on a trip, but then, in the most surprising of moments, they ask a deep, meaningful question, that almost brings tears to one's eyes. It is a gift as well to be with the more senior members of our group (we have 3 grandparents on our trip), who are so proud to know that Israel exists, and thrive, to see how Israel has changed throughout the years, and to see her being embraced by the next generations.
It is a gift to have a talented guide, travel agent and driver who navigate so intentionally our journey through Israel, so that we notice every flower, every sunset, every story and each moment of Shabbat. They engage every individual on our trip with a unique viewpoint and focus.
It is a gift that we brought in our first Shabbat in Israel by attending services at a beautiful progressive, pluralistic service with incredible music, spirit and intention. Like Makom NY, this community began with the purpose of reaching the completely secular Israelis in the greater Tel Aviv area, and it is now a thriving community for thousands of Israelis throughout Israel.
In this week's Torah portion we learn: "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them." We are seeing God's sanctuary throughout Israel during this ten day visit. Just like Makom NY, we need not be focused on any one place, but we are finding God's sanctuary in so many places. We will continue to share these holy experiences with you as we journey through Eretz Yisrael.
Shabbat Shalom from Tel Aviv,