Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Yesterday was an emotional day. My 2nd son returned from a week-long trip called March of the Living in Poland. As I have written before, the March of the Living is an educational trip for Jewish youth to teach them about their heritage and about the horrors that occurred in the Holocaust up close by visiting the concentration camps.

The parents of all the students were asked by the school to come and meet their children at the Kotel (also known as the Western or Wailing Wall). Our kids traveled directly from the airport to the Western Wall. The reason for that is because for Jews, the Western Wall is our most holy site. The sharp contrast the kids feel from standing one day in Auschwitz at the site of the concentration camp where hundreds of thousands out of the 6,000,000 Jews were annihilated, and the next day to be standing at the Western Wall, the most holy of all Jewish sites is surreal.

I hadn’t seen my son for a week. Even though I knew it was an emotional trip, I didn’t think that I was going to be emotional when I first saw him. In the past I have gone periods of time longer than a week without him being home or seeing him, so this wasn’t so unusual.

We waited patiently until the students proudly came down the steps singing and carrying the Israeli flag into the courtyard in front of the Western Wall. I saw the flag, heard the singing, saw my son and I was a fountain of emotions.

I felt a rush of love for my son, for my people and my country. I realized how nice it was to see my son even though during the past week his absence at home was not that pronounced. I became acutely aware of how much I actually had missed him despite not realizing it.

This trip really drove home to my son what it means to be Jewish and how important his history and heritage is. It reminded him of how lucky he is and how important it is for us to have a country to be proud of and call our own.

For me the colors of blue and white represent love and pride. The colors of the Israeli flag are the same colors as the resplendent sea and the gossamer white clouds floating against the backdrop of a blue sky.

Blue and white reminds me of the sky and the sea. At times it can be tranquil and peaceful. At other times it can be tempestuous. But like the sea and the sky it is always beautiful.

No matter what, blue and white is in my heart and makes be feel proud and at home. Proud to be Jewish and proud to live in my country.

This post was inspired by the prompt of color at Gallery Week 3 run by Tara at Sticky Fingers.

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My eldest is getting the credit for the title of my life lesson learned today (not that he knows it).

I dropped my son off today at his meet up point with his fellow soldiers on my way to Jerusalem. I was on the way to visit my mother in law who had surgery two days ago and I was unfamiliar with the directions to the hospital. Since I get lost driving around the corner and my son takes after his father and always seems to know where he is going, I asked my son for directions.

My son suggested I take Highway 1 instead of Highway 443. His reasoning being,  because of where he is serving in the army, he knows that there have been a number of rock throwings on 443 recently. I debated what to do.

He got out of the car and I picked up a hitchhiker. Before you all gasp in disbelief, hitchhiking is quite common here in Israel. Not quite as much as it once was but quite still quite common. Besides the hitchhiker was young and cute and going all the way to Jerusalem. Plus my son (rifle toting son) checked him out and spoke to him before he got into the car. Small world, but in the end the hitchhiker was a cousin of friends of ours and is learning with a neighbor of mine. .

I apologize but I tend to digress very easily and often, a quality of mine that drives many people especially my husband nuts. So back to my point. After my son got out of the car, I called my sister in law and she said 443 was the easiest. Also from personal experience Highway 1 has much more traffic. I figured no big deal because I have done this road hundreds of times and it is bright daylight and there are many cars on the road.

I was having a really nice discussion with my hitchhiker about Arab-Jewish relations and how one persons actions or deeds can harbor peace or hate (again I digress) when my son called me and asked where I was. I said on 443. His reply (translated from Hebrew): What you didn’t listen to me? How could you not listen to me? And then half joking, I hope you get stuck in a traffic jam for an hour and a half. I told him to take that back. To which he replied noooooo cause you didn’t listen to me. I then chuckled out loud and said to him: Now you know what it feels like to be a parent.

I don’t think he really internalized that very well because his reply was: so ya didn’t listen to me huh? You know mother, the world is round, what goes around comes around. I thought to myself yup my dear son, that was my point exactly. After all the times you didn’t listen to me, I think I am due at least a few times of not listening to you. By the way, I didn’t get stuck in any traffic at all. Just goes to prove that mothers are always right. 🙂

Originally in my head I had translated his Hebrew phrase to Life is a Circle instead of what he had actually said which is the world is round. As soon as Life is a Circle popped into my head it immediately made me think of the Circle of Life (and The Lion King and Elton John of course but again I digress).  That phrase of Life is a Circle was actually going through my head all afternoon and I thought about how true that really was. How we really do come full circle and how the way we treat people is often times the way we end up get treated back.

There are so many ways you can interpret these phrases.

In the afternoon (it has been a long day), I went to pick up my grandmother and take her to a psychiatrist. (My dad is an only child and lives in the USA so I am the one who deals with my grandmother). The psychiatrist diagnosed possible early stage Alzheimer’s because of the memory and cognitive losses.

All I kept thinking was life really is a circle. Until we go through things in life, we often don’t have the same sensitivity. We often end up in later years being hurt by the same type of actions that we hurt others with in earlier years. For those lucky to live to an old age we often start off and end up the same way. Helpless, dependent and sometimes a bit tactless. For instance on the way to drop my grandmother off she ever so bluntly asked me why I don’t brush my hair because it looks horrible right now. That so reminded me of the way our kids are so blunt when they are little. They say what they think. How many times have we wanted to bury ourselves in the ground after our kids have asked out loud why so and so is so fat or so ugly. Sadly we often times don’t give the elderly the same leeway and understanding we do with little kids.

Today I laughed my grandmother’s comment off and smiled at her. Also because she happened to be right, but mostly because I know she doesn’t really have control over what she blurts out. I am hoping that what goes around does come around and that my grandkids will be able to love me despite things I might say. That would be a perfect Circle of Life.

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