On The Road to The Red Sea
We celebrated our last day in Israel with mixed emotions. We have enjoyed each other’s company for almost 2 weeks now and didn’t want this adventure to end. On the other hand, we do miss our homes, our families and for many of us, our pets! We decided to go out with a bang and take a lunch cruise on the Red Sea!
We boarded our ship, the Zorba at the Eilat Marina, a few blocks from our hotel. The ship was built in 1918 - today it is used strictly for tourist cruises.
We couldn’t have had a more perfect day - bright sunshine, warm temperatures and tranquil waters. From our vantage point we could see Egypt, Jordan and of course, Israel.
As we sailed, I began reflecting about our group of 34 and how we had changed over the past 12 days. When we began our trip we were several families - we are now one. Many of us didn’t know each other - we have now learned something about each one of us. Sarah loves to salsa - now Jim does too...and Iris, Lisa, Robin and Susan!
Ben is the most articulate 13 year old I’ve ever met - he taught me a thing or two on my Mac!
Robin did not have a religious upbringing, barely celebrating the Jewish holidays; now she is the Rabbi at a large Conservative Congregation in the western suburbs - a true inspiration.
Caleb celebrated his 18th birthday on our trip - L’Chiam!
Like many of the teens on our trip, Rachel and Sara saw each other on occasion at school or at the temple - their friendship is now a special one, with many shared memories, from the sea the sky!
Cantor Julie has done an amazing job organizing this trip - she is already planning the next temple outing to Eastern Europe!
This trip has made an impact on my life in many ways, from historical to spiritual, but it wouldn’t have been the same without this special group of people - my extended temple family. Each of you has touched my life, and I thank you for that. I am making the journey back home with renewed faith, a fresh outlook and a gratitude for my new friends-my new family. Shalom.