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Anava


Our first night here is Tisha B'av. My husband sent me an article by Rabba Sara Hurwitz, from Yeshivat Maharat. In the article, the word anava is translated to humility, and talks about Moses being the most humble and the best leader. One does not equate the two logically, humility and greatness in leadership, especially with current politics.

These past few weeks I have confronted the reality of transplanting life to a new country mainly through reflections with friends and family and their well wishes for our year in Israel. To be honest, I was mostly fixated on packing details and less soul searching.

There is nothing humble about a decision to leave our family home and rent an apartment in a big cosmopolitan city for a year, and yet there is everything humble turning everything in life inside out and upside down, especially as a mother lioness who prides herself on protecting the den. I guess one can be bold and humble at the same time.

I am trying not to get too analytical about my wash of feelings this first day. I am mostly excited and grateful that I traveled well. No vertigo on the plane or after. The hotel had a lovely room that was ready for us upon arrival. We all took naps. We had a long walk in the evening thanks to our local cousin who babysat the kids in the room while they slept.

We walked to see the apartment building and new neighborhood. I don't know the area at all, and I am whacking fears away as they arise in my mind one by one. Will the kids be ok with all the zooming cars? Will I be happy? Will I be isolated? Will the kids be active in this urban environment? Will I lock myself up in our apartment? Will there be a third intifada? Will we suffer terror and fighting? Will I let my kids ride a public bus?

Elie was brilliant to show me the organic market near our apartment. They have my favorite tea! And so many more flavors than Whole Foods. And lots of allergy friendly food items that Jonah can have. I can navigate this market for sure. Ok! Something in my future day to day is becoming real! A picture of managing my household begins to emerge. No terror, just tea.

All I know is that each day will come and I will learn more where I am and who I am in this new place. There is nothing taken for granted when you live abroad for the first time. It is ground up identity building at this ripe age of 42. I guess this is a way to stay young, take myself out of a comfortable life where I know and control everything to the opposite, know and control very little, and all of a sudden I feel like a 20 something figuring everything out for the first time.

I hope my meta-20’s comes with the perspective and wisdom I have acquired these past 20 years so I don't suffer the same turmoil of awakening I had back then. Perhaps the original 20s was my personal identity army boot camp. Now I am an officer.

It is 4am, everyone is sleeping. I hope I can nap later today. We will go to the new apartment as a family this morning and the kids will start to see what our life here will look like to them.


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