I recently found the journal that I kept when I spent six months in Israel on an ulpan 27 years ago. It was nice to read in detail about my experience. I remember a lot of it and of course I’ve forgotten a lot as well. Mostly I was struck by how young I was. I thought I was soooo mature. I wasn’t.
I read about a weekend that remains both very distinct and somewhat fuzzy in my memory. My roommate at the time had a family friend who made Aliyah and married an Israeli. They lived in Jerusalem and we were able to use them as a weekend retreat. I think that they had decided that I would be a good match for his younger brother. His brother spent an entire weekend taking me around Jerusalem, visiting family and friends (who had babies). It was very nice but at 21 the whole baby aspect scared the shidduch right out of me.
When we visited with his parents (yes I met his parents and they insisted that I called them Abba and Ima)his mother who was a very sweet woman proudly showed me a set of juice glasses that she had. If I remember correctly, her eldest son bought them for her in the market in Jerusalem. He was a soldier who had taken part in reclaiming Jerusalem. That’s two of the things that I loved about Israel, soldiers bring back souvenirs for their mommies and they buy them,no looting and pillaging.
For so many reasons Israel is always in the back of my mind. Let’s raise a juice glass to continued peace.