30 November 2023
Originally posted on Facebook
After many delays and itinerary changes, I have arrived in Israel with a group of Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and Reform rabbis from the DC area. While our El Al flight was completely full, the airport itself was practically empty…as is our hotel. Wars take many different tolls on a nation, and for Israel—which relies so much on tourism—it is clear how much the economy is being impacted. That being said, the streets were filled with traffic, people are out and about. This is definitely still a country at war though, and the trauma of October 7th is very deep. We had an illuminating briefing with a leading journalist over dinner who gave us fascinating insights into political implications of the war, as well as the the stage of grieving where Israelis find themselves at the moment. This has a lot to do with what they are willing to talk about and what is just too soon to even consider. I look forward to elaborating on this after services this Shabbat as well as at the Talking About Israel discussion on Monday. Below, see the video I took while walking through Ben Gurion Airport. These signs line both sides of the entry hall and go on and on. The hostages are front and center in everyone’s hearts and minds. Sending love to all of you from Jerusalem!