I am moments away from completing my Birthright application for the December trip.
My heart is pounding and I feel like there's sand behind my eyes. All this time, I wasn't going to Israel because my mother was nervous. Now I'm nervous. But I'm still going. My mom and I will both be nervous, no matter what. I need to do this, and I need to do it now, before Cai turns 26. I want to go with him.
Oy vey, I worry like the Jewish grandmother I'll be one day. Everything will be fine...I'm just nervous.
But as Rabbi Hillel himself once said: "If not now, when?" It's going to be AMAZING. When else would I have the chance to ride a camel through the negev (desert)? We'll visit archaeological sites, walk through street bazaars in Jerusalem, float in the Dead Sea, drink tea with the Bedouins. All my life, I have faced Jerusalem during prayer services, bowing, perpetually, to the East. In December, I'll actually be there.
All I have to do is get my passport information together, and I'll be finished with the application process. As I told my parents, I'm going to be in Israel at some point in my life. It's better to go now, on a free, guided, 10-day tour, than on my own later. That said, I haven't talked to my parents yet about the prospect of extending our visit by a couple of days so we can spend some time with S and Y, who are studying at HUC and Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, respectively. I have to talk to them about it first. But it would be a wonderful way to end our visit. I miss them all the time. Even if it doesn't quite work out, hopefully they can meet up with us somewhere...we'll see.