“Receiving is a superior form of generosity”–Elie Wiesel
I have always had trouble receiving from others because I’ve always wanted to be the one giving. So, when I read this quote by Wiesel, I had to think about it for a long time. I know I have offended some people when I have refused the kindness they have tried to offer me. If you are one of those, I ask your forgiveness. I know there is pride involved in this.
I am leaving Israel.
Every time I have lead a tour in Israel, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon: when the people land here, they quickly forget they live somewhere else and they immerse themselves in the history and the Bible and the Land. But, then, there comes a moment toward the end of every tour when people seem to wake up as if from a dream and realize they do have to go home. From that moment on, they have a hard time paying attention to the last day or two of the tour as they begin to think of what awaits them back home: behind at work, bills to pay, a lawn to mow…
For me, it is a little different. I have been ready to leave the country for over a week, ever since I had the sense that the reasons for my being here have been accomplished. Plus, I am not behind at work, don’t have unpaid bills, or a lawn to mow…
Yesterday I went to the Old City for the last time and visited several places that have become old friends to me. I told the brothers in Shorashim “goodbye” and “I may be back next year”. I visited the Western Wall for the last time and decided to check out the Southern Wall Excavations to see if we want to include them in next year’s itinerary. I climbed deep into a 2,000 year old ritual bath to take this picture of what is left of the huge archway that used to lead into the Temple Mount.
This morning I received a contract from Beijing-U.S.A. College of English. The contract didn’t have enough details so I asked the agent for clarification. Those of you who know me know that it’s not a teaching contract I’m waiting for.
Anyway, I am writing this, one of my final blogs from Israel, to say “Thank you” to all you who have made it possible for me to be here these past three months. Things have happened here which I can share only privately–not in a forum this public. I thank you for your faith in me and, mainly, for your prayers. Anyone who has prayed for me deserves to know some details about my time here and I will be happy to share them in time.
“Thank you” seems way too shallow. But, be assured that it is heartfelt.
Hope to see many of you soon.
PS: This has nothing to do with anything, but I like pictures of sunrises and sunsets and I took this one last weekend as the sun was rising over the hills of Samaria.