Momentum Day One
First, conversations were had at the airport at Ben Gurion arrivals hall. Fitting as it is where tourists and new Olim first arrive to the Land, HaAretz, which we have kissed the ground of and yearned for since the Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in 586 BCE.
Why does our connection inspire such the Jewish people in ways that our children born in the diaspora give up all they know to serve as lone soldiers? Meeting the other mothers of Lone Soldiers for the first time was exciting and humbling as we couldn’t possibly have a more important shared experience.
I first spoke to Ella, a woman who is an emigre from Russia. Interestingly her family background mirrors my own with loss of most of the family from wars/pogroms, and active tracing of genealogy, and documenting and hearing the testimony of survivors.
After a warm welcome and very helpful meetings, especially from Noya who runs the Lone Soldier Program, we heard about the specific support that is available to Lone Soldiers. One by one, the moms in our group stood and spoke of what our children are doing in their service. The expression of gratitude was humbling.
On the bus ride from Nefesh B’Nefesh to dinner, Rocky shared with me that she is a mosaic artist. We made the parallel that her art form, which fashions broken ceramics into a whole cohesive pattern, could be a parallel to our experience in Momentum. Each of us indubitably could be broken at some point, but we can also be fixed. Our collective whole becomes integrated, complex, and stronger than each of the individual pieces.
Before dinner, Lori spoke. What was most resonant for me was hearing that “Jews don’t turn their back on Judaism because of what they know, it is because of what they don’t know. Jews don’t turn their back on Israel because of what they know; it’s because of what they don’t know”. Wisdom in this phrasing’s emphasis is placed on the dynamic, transformative act of learning.
I couldn’t be more grateful to connect to other moms of Lone Soldiers in Israel this week. We raise each child according to their way and, at the same time, our children teach us too.
Jenny Edwards Ber