Where God Goes for Summer Vacation

In the past 30 days I have:

Buried my grandfather;
Set foot once more in the Holy Land;
Stood at the Kotel with a talit over my head in a space that respected and reflected my religious choices and identity;
Spent Shabbat and Sunday in Jerusalem worshipping with Jews and Christians together;
Chanted Shema at the top of Massada;
Swam by moonlight in the Sea of Galilee;
Observed grown men cry at Yad VaShem;
Rushed into a bomb shelter in Tel Aviv, with sirens blaring;
Stood under my father’s chuppah with a mix of new and old family;
Found friendships in unexpected places, at much needed moments;

Each moment, each place, each experience was holy in its own way.

And yet, tonight was my summer reunion with God.

It happened in the midst of a small camp in a big Gaga pit. There was a robot drone flying overhead and campers – those who might be sidelined at other camps – sang Hashiveinu and whispered


and chanted Shema with arms around one another.

Of course I glimpsed God in the cemetary, at the Kotel, under the chuppah, in the water and sand and stone of my Homeland, in the faces of new friends and family…

But in the Gaga Pit, God and I linked arms and rejoiced.

Mah norah hamakom hazeh! How awesome is this pace!

How grateful I am to have journeyed this crazy journey and to have arrived here, where new traditions and old traditions collide like atoms…spinning…holy sparks flying with the robotic drone.