Last Israel post, I promise.
On our last day of the trip, the IsraelExperts (that's the trip organizer I took) rep asked us to say what our one 'aha!' moment in Israel was.
I decided to keep it to myself then, but I want to share it with you now.
The day we traveled to Jerusalem, we drove to a lookout point as the sun was going down. Geographically, Israel is fascinating... the terrain is so vast for such a small country. Often times we were below sea level, but on this particular evening it felt as though we were high, overlooking the old city.
I've dreamed about visiting Jerusalem my whole life. Small cups of wine were passed around and we toasted one another - L'chaim - to life, and gathered for a group picture.
After the last shot was snapped, we disposed of the cups and prepared to re-board the bus. As we shuffled around listening to our tour guide's last instructions, he concluded his speech by quietly saying, "Welcome home".
And we were. But it wasn't until I heard it that I felt it and I knew it. 'Welcome home'. His voice was almost a whisper so I think most of the group didn't even hear it, but... Those two words changed everything... they broke my heart and pieced it back together all at once. I'm literally sobbing as I type this now. I have another home. It's far away and I don't know when I'll be back, but it's mine. Every living, breathing Jew... this is our revenge. We're still in tact. They tried to destroy us but couldn't. And we have this beautiful little state as proof. And I had the honor of standing in it, exploring it, reveling in it.
I will never forget that moment as long as I live.