Gavin works for an Israeli company so we are lucky to spend our summers in Israel. We have many friends here. Most were shabbat guests at our homes in New Zealand, Australia and the US. Many were backpacking after the army in outback places and we were the only Jews in some places. They were excited for a kosher meal and were so happy to meet another Jew. In fact, word was out in the Israeli network that you could crash at the Samuels’ and people just arrived at our door. The police once found a wallet and called us. We had no idea who the guy was but he had our name and number.
We also have many friends here that were not religious. From our Shabbat table, they made their way to yeshiva and now live in religious neighborhoods all over the country. It is interesting to see the wild child who is now the rabbi’s wife or another wild woman now with eight kids living on a black hat yeshuv. Last night, we bumped into a guy who we had brought on a fellowship to Israel 11 years ago. He introduced us to his wife. I have school friends from South Africa too that made aliya. Next Shabbat, we will be with the B’nei Akiva shaliach from Auckland, New Zealand. My kids meet our friends from our journeys and now they have a whole set of Israeli friends here.
Israel is the center of my spiritual universe. It’s also the center of my world. I have lived in nine cities in six countries and when I am here, I can reflect on all the places we lived, the lives we impacted and the friendships we created.
And the journey continues….
Many of you have had similar journeys…whether through your travels or through various experiences at home. Please comment on this post and share some of these special times and memorable relationships with us at Metroimma.
Originally published: July 10, 2010