My pilot trip to Israel is around the corner (as in less than 12 hours until my flight takes off). I am beyond excited. In preparation for this trip I got my hair done. It was a hair emergency as my usual hair dresser of several years did not show up at our scheduled time so I had to go to a new place. I contacted Mr. C and we made it work. Can I just say he did an amazing job on my hair and if I wasn’t leaving then he would be my new hair dresser. As an aside I have been nervous about who will do my relaxer in Israel as I’ve been going to the same person for years. Yesterday was a reminder that new doesn’t always mean bad and can in fact be better than what you had before.
While in the shop he was playing Christmas music and the other women in the shop were filled with lots of jokes. I had only met these people for the first time yesterday, these black women and the 1 one black man, and they too liberties to tease me about moving to Israel. Thats one thing I love about black culture. We are all family. It’s what I also love about being jewish. We are all family. These people,who do not know me but learned that I was moving away from my family to a new country did their best to convince me to stay, citing how dangerous and scary Israel is. But in the end they were happy and even proud of me. It’s one of those cultural nuances that we all understand that is really hard to put into words but is what is special about black culture in the states. I will miss this.
Earlier in the day I had my Hebrew lesson and I was talking to my tutor. As she got the details of my trip she whips out her phone and says “I will connect you to my friend Michel”. And just like that Michel and I are talking and she’s offering for me to stay at her home and of course show me around. I’ve never met her and she’s willing to do this. Another woman I met online, with the connection being that we are jews of color asks me to send me her CV. She then passes it along to a therapist friend she knows who asks me to contact her. So I do and we are coordinating a meeting for when I’m in town. So this is why I am not afraid to make aliyah.
The beauty of being jewish and making aliyah is the amount of support I’ve received from strangers. My calendar is all ready filled with new people I am excited to meet. People who I’v spoken to on the phone or through whatsapp or Facebook messenger. People who have taken the time to answer my questions and offer their advice to make this transition as smooth as possible. People who have passed my CV around and opened their homes to me. This is what’s waiting for me in December.
As another bit of irony it’s looking like another infatada is happening in Israel. Instead of bombs and rockets they are setting fires throughout the country. As of today, November 24, 600,000 Israeli’s have had to be evacuated from their homes. It’s so sad and of course this news has made my family more worried (and just when they were becoming excited for me). I’ve been telling people its not so bad and it sound worse in the news, but arson which is requiring fire fighting planes from Russia, Italy, Croatia, etc to help extinguish the flames is on another level. I am not worried or scared but I feel so sad. I feel sad for the people involved in the arson who feel they have no other recourse. They will be found and punished. Their families will be affected too. The public will have less and less trust for them and thus the cycle will continue to persist. I feel sorry for the families who have to flee. People who may be hurt. People who are losing their possessions and their sense of safety. They will be hardened.
So even though I am ready for my trip I am sad that it’s occurring at a time when fires are burning across the country and people will feel more stress.