(New to Shabbos Blessings? Learn more Shabbos Blessings)
I have a secret to tell: It’s Thursday. The magic of the internet is such that this will be posted sometime tomorrow afternoon, when it is Friday, but in fact it is Thursday night. Tomorrow (and I mean that in the most generous sense, because the shared taxi that everybody here seems to take to the airport will be picking me up at 1:45 AM), I will be in Prague and my computer will be enjoying a long weekend without me here in Jerusalem.
Why will I be in Prague? Well, because of a visa issue. Was it a visa problem that has since been resolved? Well, no. That is a long and annoying story that perhaps I will tell in full someday, but for now suffice it to say that bureaucracy is an slant-rhyme-of-and-antonym-for-the-colloquial-usage-of-cinch. I intend to come back to Jerusalem on Monday morning and continue my studies here. I certainly hope that airport immigration will be on board.
Anyway, this week has been hard. I don’t know when or if things will ever feel “normal” again. I don’t know how much of the day-to-day funk that I’m in is because of the election and how much is because of my grandpa and how much is because of the grayer weather and how much is because I’ve been here long enough to start getting homesick. I don’t know. I’ll be ok. I wish I felt better now.
This week’s blessing comes from one of my oldest friends. We met in preschool and were definitely buddies by kindergarten or first grade. We also grew up at the same synagogue, so if you ever want to hear stories of Baby Rabbi(-to-be) Emily, she’s a good person to ask.
May this journey give you the chance for spiritual growth, learning, and connection. May you find a sense of peace inside the walls of this holy place. Each step you take on this journey, realize you are never alone.
When things get especially hard, spiritual growth and learning and connection get even more important. It’s difficult for me to feel at peace right now, but I feel best about everything when I can recognize my own growth and the ways in which I am connecting to the people in my community here and at home. The Clinton loss has, I guess, made me feel a little less alone as people from across my communities have stepped up to offer word and action. I think we’ll all need to rely on each other now more than ever.
Today I was in a cab (the first one I’ve taken since getting here actually). The driver, after establishing that I was an American and that the Golden Gate Bridge was in San Francisco, not LA, asked me if I voted for Trump or Clinton. I told him. When I asked him who he liked he said that it wasn’t his government but that a lot of Israelis like Trump because his daughter married a Jew. I hesitated, then told him that Hillary Clinton’s daughter also married a Jew but that that wasn’t the point. I told him that Trump just hired a guy who is openly anti-semitic. And that Trump really doesn’t like a lot of people. The driver seemed to know that, and together we started making a list of all the groups of people Trump doesn’t like. It took a while.”So he’s crazy,” the driver finally concluded. The sooner we can all decide that anybody who dislikes most groups of people is crazy, the better off the world will be.
Anyway, this week has been hard. I don’t know when things will feel “normal” again. But, for now, I’m getting ready for a few days away. I hope it’s fun. I hope it offers me a breath before another nearly 2 months of classes before the January break. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back.