Showing posts from 2023

The Stolen Journey Home

My first trip to Israel was scheduled for January 2001. Part of our Jewish Day School curriculum involved Israel education that revolved around this milestone trip; from preparing us to what we would see, to how we would process the experience. In addition to Talmud and Jewish history courses, our Hebrew classes included conversational Hebrew, mostly because it is an integral part Jewish life, but also because we were being prepared for our eventual senior trip to Israel. When my oldest sister returned from hers, I wanted to know all the details. Her answer? “Just hold on, I don’t want to ruin the experience for you”. Then, the second Intifada happened. We were young, and somewhat (and in hindsight unfairly) unaware of what this meant not only to us as Jews, but to our long-awaited rite of passage.  Jewish life in Chile happens mostly in a vacuum: its self-contained nature is limited to the life behind the reinforced gates of the school, youth movement on Saturday afternoons, and the 1

Jewish Rituals and How They Carry Us Through

I feel no shame in admitting that I have cried more in the last two months than I have in the last two years. Whether it be due to grief, anxiety, fear, or even my own children's milestone events (I blubbered my way through my son's Elementary School graduation) my soul has craved (and acted on) the need for relief. If I am being honest, I feel the tears building as I write this. Part of this may be physical exhaustion, part of it is just the sheer weight of everything that has taken place in my life either directly to me, or to loved ones in the past few months.  While on a walk alongside the Kineret last week in Israel, I had the opportunity to discuss how different Jewish communities around the world handle freedom to practice or, in some cases, the lack thereof with two fantastic individuals. To no surprise, we all came to the agreement that there is one thing that binds Jewish practice across borders: Life Cycle rituals. For those of you who do not know what these are, the