|Electrical Box, Jerusalem 2016|
Question 1: Why am I going to Israel? You may know why Jews visit Israel. You may know why people of all faiths visit Israel. You may know why your parents are sending you on this trip. You may know why The Davis Academy is taking you to Israel. But do you know why you are going to Israel? Do you know what you're hoping to see, taste, and experience? Do you know what you're hoping to learn about yourself, about your Kehilah, about Israel? Take some time to think about the meaning(s) of why you are going to Israel.
Question 2: How am I going to Israel? There are lots of ways to answer the "how" questions of life. When someone asks you "how did you get here?" there are lots of potential answers. You can start with your birth or your can take a more literal approach ("I walked" "my mom drove me"). So, how are you going to Israel? What kind of shape are you in? Are you going with an open mind and open heart? Are you going with a list of special gifts to bring back to loved ones? Are you going as an artist, as a writer, as a skeptic, as a spiritual being? Take some time to think about how you're going to Israel.
Question 3: Who am I going to Israel? Read the question again. At first glance it doesn't really make sense. But there's a legitimate and important question in there. Who are you as you go to Israel? When we stop to think about it, the who question is really complex. You're an individual, but you're part of a "Kehilah Kedoshah!!!". You're a son or a daughter, a grandchild, a sibling, a friend, a teenager, an Atlantan, an American (or not), and so much more. You're a link in the chain of generations. You're a branch on a family tree that extends back across thousands of years. You're hope, prayer, blessing, and so much more. When you step off the plane at Ben Gurion Airport, who will you be? When you board the plane two weeks later, how will you have changed?
I plan to take some time to reflect on these and other questions as I look forward to tomorrow with a healthy mix of nerves, anxiousness, and anticipation. I hope you'll do your own version of the same.