Jetlag?

El AlI’m back from my first Mission to the USA – working to bring families home, where they want to be. We achieved our objectives: increasing numbers of potential olim are aware of the Ariel Aliyah programs, and many people have expressed an interest in Ariel as a place they might choose to call home. Indeed, the process of making Ariel into a stronghold for North American aliyah absorption is underway.

And yet, something strange happened to me when I was in the USA. I was very energized about the trip before my departure from Israel – after over five years of not having gone to the States for so much as a visit, I suddenly had the opportunity to provide Jews with a practical means of joining our people here at home. Opportunity was an understatement – it was as though the pieces of an intricate puzzle were beginning to come together. Everything was in place – that is, until I arrived in the States…

I brought my vitamin c with me on the trip, suspecting I might need to strengthen my immune system before the climate-culture-shock of hitting New York straight from Israel in October. To my surprise New York was pretty warm. Still – I don’t know if it was the flu or maybe jetlag, but I was exhausted for the first few days of my trip. I was even a bit weak, physically. Of course, the show must go on. My presentations were delivered as planned. I remained coherent and my messages were conveyed. Still – the fatigue didn’t let up. Something was draining my strength.

 After three days in New York and New Jersey I felt I was well rested. Still, Being having rested wasn’t enough to bring me back to life. I lacked the energy that had driven me over the course of the last three months since I assumed the position of Aliyah coordinator in Ariel. The meetings in Los Angeles were, as those before them, productive. Still,  felt like I wasn’t myself. I felt out of place – out of my element.

Upon returning Home I expected yet again to be jetlagged and fatigued. For some reason that hasn’t been the case. From the moment I got in my car and turned on my Udi Davidi disc (what I would consider Jewish-Israeli ethnic music) I felt the energy surge I had so sorely missed over the last week and a half. The pieces of the puzzle, having been somewhat rearranged, were back in place. Goal, purpose and method all made sense once again.

Having lived in Israel for the last 12 years I can certainly say that I’ve been well absorbed, thank G-d. So much so, that when I leave the country for even a short sojourn I lose myself. It is now clearer to me than ever before: I draw my strength, my identity and to a degree my personality from my Land and from my People.

May we all be so fortunate as to be well absorbed in our Home.       

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