Last night all fifteen members of our group gathered for the last time before we leave for Israel. There was so much positive energy in the room! In addition to discussing logistics for the trip, we explored the ancient connections between Israel and the Jewish people, especially through the eyes of women.
Moshe Katz, Board Chair of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, talked to use about using all five of our senses to fully experience Israel. He also talked about a sixth sense that is personal to each of us. He also shared a beautiful midrash that brought tears to many people's eyes:
וּפָֽרַצְתָּ֛ יָ֥מָּה וָקֵ֖דְמָה וְצָפֹ֣נָה וָנֶ֑גְבָּה
And you spread out to the west and east and north and south
"These directions only make sense in Israel. צפון (Tzafon) means north. ימה (Yama) means to the sea, which in Israel is to the West. נגבה (Negbah) means to the Negev, which is the South. קדמה (Kedmah) is referring to Jerusalem, which is to the East. The word קדמה (Kedmah) has the same root as קודם (Kodem) which means before and קדימה (Kadimah) which means forward, indicating the future. So why does קדמה (Kedmah) refer to Jerusalem? Because only in Jerusalem do we find our past and experience our future."
Thank you Moshe for this inspiring lesson.
Our trip will begin on October 22 with a Jewish Agency site visit and our attendance at the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America. Then on October 23, our adventure with JWRP will begin. Watch for more blog posts during the trip.