A few nights ago, my husband and I went to hear Gail Rosen, a local storyteller, tell the story of Hilda Stern Cohen, a Holocaust survivor. At one point in the story, after the war, when Hilda had resettled in America, Gail relates that, while Hilda was standing at her sink in her American home, she was here, caring for her her family… but part of herself was not here. She was still, mentally, in the camps, in the horror of the Holocaust.
That passage stood out for me in sharp relief. I’m here, going through the motions of my life. But sometimes, I feel that I am not here. Often, I am more in Israel, though only in my head. On most Shabbat mornings, when my husband is busy with his shul responsibilities until 2 PM, I read about Israel. I transcend my physical life here and I live in Israel, in my mind, for those few precious hours each week.