For as long as I can remember, I felt a “pull” to visit Israel. But it took me until eight years after my retirement to finally get there and the timing could not have been better!
During the three years preceding my trip, I joined CBI, regularly attended Torah Study and Minyan Services, and immersed myself in Jewish studies. As a result, when I was finally able to make my journey, I came to Israel with a much greater understanding and appreciation of my Jewish heritage in all its aspects: its theology, history, culture, philosophy, and thought. This heightened Jewish consciousness greatly enhanced my Israel experience. From the moment I arrived, I knew I was inextricably “connected” to this Land and I started to think about the meaning that Israel and Jewish national sovereignty has in my life.
Since this was my first trip to Israel, I selected a tour that would give me a good overview of the entire country and show me its highlights: the Western Wall , Yad Vashem and the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem; vibrant Tel Aviv; the Dead Sea, Masada, Sea of Galilee, Golan Heights, several Kubbutz and overnights on the Kibbutz; Caesarea, Haifa and Safed. From this basic introduction to the Land, by the end of the tour, I knew I wanted to go back to the Holy City of Jerusalem and spend a considerable amount of time living there and studying at the Hartman Institute or Hebrew University.
One day, I will return to walk the entire city of Jerusalem and live its history on all its levels of discovery. Here, more than anywhere else on earth, I will crave, I will hope and I will search for the answers to my existence.