The future has several names.
For the weak, it is impossible;
for the fainthearted, it is unknown;
but for the valiant, it is ideal.
~ Victor Hugo
A year ago I started talking about going to Berlin to visit our older daughter who's studying there. And I made a list of where we might also go like Prague or Amsterdam or maybe a country I've avoided, like Israel.
Israel is a central idea for many Jews. For me, it meant historical fiction, like The Source by James Michener, a book about archeology that I highly recommend.
Oh sure, it was on my radar, but way out there. After all, wars and bombs happen there, the kind of thing that's best encountered via a newspaper or political talk show. And don't tell me they happen here in the States too. In LA I'm more concerned with earthquakes and fires, like from the Santa Ana winds that are forecast for the next few days.
But after having the opportunity to visit London, Paris, Zurich, Basel, Heidelberg, Munich, Freiberg, Alsace, passing through Austria, Verona, Lake Como, the Cotswolds, the Bahamas, Mexico, Hawaii, New York/plus the state, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Chicago, Rhode Island, Vancouver, Philadelphia, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Las Vegas, Nashville, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey and all over California, well, I figured it was time to check out the ancestral homeland.
It's really amazing what happens when you repeat something over and over again. Like when you tell friends and acquaintances that you're going to Israel and some folks say, 'you've never been?!?' Then you start reading about it because I realized I only knew what I call 'synagogue Israel,' the view from the Torah (Bible). Really, the Exodus from Egypt is not a contemporary take on the place.
So we are on our way. Just have to pack - hah. And buy a bra. I've managed to lose one and always bring a spare. Never needed it but this time if I only have the one I'm wearing, I know it will break. Or I can chance fate and if necessary, buy some fancy schmancy European model.
Now there's a souvenir to bring back!