Tazria Metzora 5778 – A moment of magic
By the time you read this, the celebrations for Israel's 70th - preceded by the solemn commemoration to honour its fallen soldiers - has already taken place. Our visitors from Israel, here as part of the Magic Moments delegation, movingly and vividly gave us a flavour of what it's like to live in the Galilee.
The Galilee is a most beautiful and serene place, with wonderful people. I lived there for five years, some of my most formative and memorable. It has a different pace of life from the centre of Israel - which most of the population calls home. It fuses the spirit with the physical, the land with the people. It is also in closer proximity to nearby hostile countries. Yet, this does not deter those who live there from enjoying fulfilled and wholesome lives.
One of the most beautiful aspects of the Magic Moments program is getting to know these children, and their environment, better. We have had the privilege of being a 'host family' over the years. It is gruelling and exhausting - but equally rewarding and invigorating. The chosen youngster becomes part of our family, and we become part of theirs.
Last year we hosted Adina from the Galil. A couple of months later, Rivky and I were in Israel for one week. One of those days was set aside to travel and meet Adina and her family.
The long drive up north was well worth it. We could taste the air of the land, and share precious time with Adina, her family and others in their peaceful village. This little Moshav specialises in accommodation. The family wanted us to stay. The thought actually crossed my mind. But with such little time in Israel, we reluctantly returned to Jerusalem.
On your next trip to Israel, travel up north and learn about the Galilee. Its beauty, its opportunity - and its people. You needn't be a host family to receive a warm welcome by these wonderful folk. It would be very easy to arrange. It will be good for them, good for you, and good for keeping a strong connection between Israel and the diaspora.
RABBI MENDEL LEW