Finding My Way In Israel
By Rhonda Blender
I would have to say my favorite memories (I can't provide just one) are:
The start of Shabbat in Jerusalem. I took a walk down the street from my hotel and encountered a small park with a bench facing the street. On the opposite side of the street there was another hotel. There were two tall flag poles. On one was the flag of the State of Israel and on the other was the flag of the City of Jerusalem. I sat down on the bench and looked up at the flags blowing in the breeze - there was a spotlight on them. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It was truly overwhelming: there's the flag of the State of Israel. I was mesmerized, completely overwhelmed that I was in Israel and that I was seeing this. People walked by, all sorts of people.
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On Shabbat, finding my way to the Kotel. I can't describe how I got there, just that I came through some passageways, found myself on a large stone pathway and stone stairs which opened up so that I could look across the plaza and see it. It was startling. I stopped. There it was. I kept starting to walk and stopping because it was such a big deal to me that I didn't want to rush it. I wanted to take each moment inside myself, register it emotionally, spiritually, mentally. Very powerful.
All dialogues with members of the IDF.
Last but the most important are several circumstances:
- A conversation I had with Daniel Nisman, one of the Founders of the Friend a Soldier Initiative about life in Israel.
- The hours I spent at Beit Halochem. When I walked out of there I was a changed human being.
- My time with the staff at the Rehab Hospital at Sheba Medical Center.
- The quiet morning at the military cemetery on Mt. Herzl.
I could go on and on, but I'll stop.