Shabbat is coming, and this week I’ll miss the whispers of my father–the blessing that keeps my time moving holy. Not unlike the only child whose father clutched him the night before, clung to his mother before saying goodbye as they departed into the darkness towards Israel. They are making aliyah to be reunited with family, and yet in the same moment aliyah is tearing their loved ones apart. The mother tells Micah Feldman through tears that she has already lost two children. Out of the darkness they came only to move further into it.
Of course I am looking in from the outside–there is undoubtedly a reason and I’m told the decision to accept only 2/3rds of the family will soon be verified. Perhaps it is a brother and not a father. Other than this wailing family, little emotion is expressed. I spent the day with these 65 individuals as they were given final warnings from Brahane, their teacher about life in Israel. This is a diaper, this is deodorant, this is Saranwrap–don’t let your children eat it. There was shouting and laughing as the whole anticipated the strange new world that they would soon master. But now, only slight nods indicated that they recognized me or even each other. There was no one body, no one whole people that was leaving. Only singles and silence as they departed.