01 December 2010

Ancient echoes reverbate within

It was my intention to use this blog to write my impressions about being a new resident of Yerushalayim. After nearly five months, I can honestly admit that 'settling' has consumed our lives. Both the day to day necessities, plus the 'additional paperwork' (even though Nefesh and the JA did a great job helping us organize before the move) and just plain learning all the things that ordinary life in Israel entails. So, after all this time, at last, my first post, and hopefully not the last.

I have always loved being outdoors in the sunshine, with trees all around, clear skies, or a sky filled with magnificent fluffy clouds playing havoc with the suns rays. The feel of the morning air, crystals floating on blades of grass, hanging off of dangling leaves ... The cool moistness resting on my face.

It is now almost five months that my husband and I are living in Yerushalayim. It takes minutes, hours, days and weeks to slowly become familiar with very different and new surroundings, all the while giving conscious awareness of the hashgocha pratis (providence) in each new experience that one is brought into.

If one can be 'in love' with a place, then I am immensely in love with Yerushalayim and the whole of Eretz Yisrael.

A walk down a street named after Isaac ben Judah Abrabanel, (Lisbon, 1437 – Venice, commonly referred to as The Abarbanel, was a Portuguese Jewish statesman, philosopher, Bible commentator, and financier).
And onto another street named after Solomon ibn Gabirol: Shelomo ben Yehuda ibn Gevirol.

All around are famous names, and very very old tall trees that have been witness to the creation perhaps, but more so to the raising up of hills and roads bearing royalty. Royalty in the Jewish Biblical sense, such as Rehov HaNevi'im (Street of the Prophets), Derech Hevron (Hebron, where Adam and Chava, and Biblical giants Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah, Rochel and Leah are resting), Alfassi, Ben Yehuda, Dovid Hamelech (Tehillim), Betzalel, Ethiopia, Queen Shlomtzion HaMalka.

These names belong to the pages of history but I am here now walking among names of people who have contributed so much, some suffering, just so that I can live and breathe the air of Yerushalayim.

Humbling, very much so.

For their sacrifices I owe them the respect of living consciously, aware of my ancestors' battles.
But I am here! Now, in the 21st Century, with talk of our Jewish Geula floating within the very avira (atmosphere) that all Israelis breathe so effortlessly yom yom (daily) and the non-jews who have come to visit or live because they too are aware of this potent air and spiritual landscape
.

Since the 80's when I first experienced this sacredness, I have been desiring to reunite my neshoma (soul) with the very Land that held our Avos and Imahos. I cannot divorce myself from their lives and inheritance. Especially, Yosef, the son of Yaakov, pulls at my heart so much so that research has filled many hours searching out his children's children.

Back in Brooklyn (from where I moved), on the third floor of a private home, with leafy trees full of serenading birds inches from my window, I sat at my iMac googling every idea that related to the lost children from the Tribes of Yisrael that were the descendants of Yosef ben Yaakov.

My mind's travels took me all over the cyberspace; while the myriad of paperwork took me to the El Al flight reunited with my neshoma's yearning.

to be continued ....

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