Ten months ago we sent our 15-year-old son 6,500 miles away to the Holy Land.
He’s part of a unique, 3-year program with students from literally around the world, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Germany, Holland, Japan, and Panama.
But a few months into the program, he was physically sick and struggling emotionally. Because of the closed borders, we couldn’t even visit him.
As a mom, my heart and soul ached beyond words, and I was ready to bring him back.
As I researched flights and was about to book his ticket, I paused, closed my eyes and spoke to G-d. “What should we do?” The answer came quickly and clearly: “Let him stay.”
So we did.
He overcame his struggles and slowly began to thrive.
He now knows Hebrew fluently and bits of a few other languages. He’s learned to navigate his way around the country, spending Shabbats and holidays with friends and family in Jerusalem, Tzfat, Ramat Beit Shemesh, and Haifa.
He’s climbed Masada and Mount Hermon, swam in the Dead Sea, hiked the Nahal Snir, and kayaked in the Hasbani River.
He’s performed in plays (in Hebrew), cleaned up beaches, and picked oranges from the grove behind his dorm.
I also stopped crying everyday, and my heart overflows with gratitude for the support of his counselors, his friends, and those who have welcomed him into their homes.
I realize now that we didn’t send our boy away.
We sent him Home.
And soon, with G-d’s help, we will join him there…
“Go out of your country, to a land that I will show you…a land which the Lord your G-d cares for; the eyes of the Lord your G-d are always upon it…”