On the way

 Last night there was a lot to do- the Pesach boxes had to be packed away, I needed to finish packing my luggage, get cash for a taxi, and shower knowing I wouldn’t want to at 3am! 

My 9 year old insisted she wanted to stay up and play jenga with the Pesach packing (we did an excellent job I reckon!) and we all took a moment out of the chaos to make havdallah- the ceremony that closes Shabbat. 

As we looked at the flickering havdallah candle, I was surprised to find myself feeling quite moved by the simple fact that we were free to mark this beautiful moment in the week, to honour Jewish time, and to celebrate our Jewish rituals as we choose. I have always taught our Judaism has nothing to do with the Shoah (Holocaust). It happened to us not because of us, and we observe because our Judaism has intrinsic value not because our families died for it. But as we leave the festival of freedom, there was a sudden feeling of surprise to realise there is something in me right now that does want to remember how lucky we are to be able to practice our Judaism freely, and that doing so is in some way a victory over history. As all this was welling up in me I discovered E was welling up too- suddenly aware I wouldn’t be there in the morning when she woke up. 

I am not sure how much she and her brother understand - though I know they both have a sense of the war and that there was a persecution of Jews and others. I want them to appreciate why this trip is so important, and I also want to protect them a little longer from knowing how awful this world can be- though the news has probably told them as much recently. 

It is 4am and I am waiting for our group to gather at the airport… 


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