Sunday, July 20, 2008

Off to Israel

Well, I should be packing. As in, cramming enough for nine days into as small a suitcase as I can, lest I pay more than necessary for airline baggage charges. You see, we're off to Israel.

This is the fourth annual tour that I'll be, um, "taking" to the Holy Land, and what I mean by that is that I'm accompanying the big draw for a group of 200 fans. Given that we have family
in Jerusalem, and that my daughter spent a year in seminary there, over the past four years I've made this journey six times. Eight times in all.

Still, when you approach the kotel, the Western wall surrounding the Temple
Mount, the ruach, spirituality, is palpable. All the headlines about danger lurking everywhere dissolve into normal days of touring and visiting family, whose daily routine differs little from ours at home. Jerusalem is a relatively small city, in a teensy country, and floating in the Dead Sea, climbing the scorched paths in Masada, peering out the air-conditioned bus windows at date palms and irrigated fields and sandy stretches has a special wonder to it, because this is the land of our forefathers, the land God chose as the microcosm of everywhere.

So, I won't be adding to my blog while away. I don't check email; I don't travel with a laptop. The days are action-packed and people-rich, and somehow when you tread ruins thousands of years old, the urgency of the Internet is less potent, and the importance of living and surviving--in a desert, as a people, and as a nation, become paramount.

We'll be traveling for 27 hours to get there, on a Jewish fast day (17th of Tammuz) so this should be interesting. I plan to stay up all night tonight on last
minute laundry, folding and cramming, so that I can spend most of my non-imbibing hours asleep. There's always that pre-journey mix of excitement and reluctance that I feel now, but I'm readying my camera and spare batteries and plan to return with some fascinating stories to tell. In the meantime, enjoy the sweet luxuries of summer...


  1. Do be safe and trust that sixth sense. I hope you can sit in when the fellow you married takes to the airwaves. Mention "Northern Light" and we'll know you're remembering us.

    Are you doing the MM Golf Tour this time?

  2. Bon Voyage going and Welcome Home coming back. Since we are of the same ilk, I also was packing and cramming for my own trip in the other direction on the same Sat. night you were doing your thing. I therefore did not make time to send you off online but I CAN anticipate seeing your back on home turf in a few days, tired but full of new memories and probably 1,000 photos to add to the 30,000 you already have. Alas & alack, summer kids will be returning to their academic environs away from home all too soon, which means the New Year will be shortly upon us and then the rest of the calendar will flip by until our hannukiyot light the way to 2009. Yoicks and caramba, methinks age surely telescopes time! Don't worry, Light, we'll stretch the hours so we can explore one more street fair or farmers' market, heigh ho!

  3. Ruth Anne, sorry I didn't see your post till I got home, or I would've suggested to Mr. Airwaves to insert your code word! I did sit in on his show, in Ceasaria with about 20 others, and in Jerusalem, at the Jerusalem Post offices...yawning, as his show there is 10 pm to 1 am, and we had call for the bus in the mornings at 7 or 7:30...
    Very funny, the golf reference.
    And doubleT, Ihave 1,300 photos to add to my 30,000. Yoicks and caramba!