Showing posts from November, 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