August 2, Johannesburg, South Africa - and Israel
It is simple but profound. So simple that we dismiss it, so easy that we do not try.
A man stands next to me, I can sense how alone he is.
Quiet people speak volumes.
Is there a home to return to?
Where are you going to? When are you coming back? Years and nothing is erased.
A man stands next to me, he is giving up his life in South Africa, he is going to Israel. The diplomas that are on the wall are taken down, shredded and thrown away, a new life will begin, an old life comes to an end.
A bitter divorce, two children who do not speak to him.
"To be honest I have nothing here anymore" he tells me as if we are old friends.
I give him my card, I hope he calls.
A new country, a new language. How will I manage? He asks me.
I have been there too. New beginnings, and I have always been told kol hatchalot kashot, all beginnings are difficult. I know.
Take a jacket, it might be cold.
"Everything I have is in these suitcases", he tells me, "I don't need the rest anymore, that does it matter, it no longer defines me." That is who I was.
A young woman sits on her suitcases. She has been sitting there a long time.
We have a folding bed, we have a nice view, it will be OK. New Beginnings. All beginnings are difficult. That first step, so alone, seems so difficult. The future can be a dark abyss or full of sunshine. Depends on our glasses.
Where does this train lead to? What station calls my name?
New beginnings; difficult to let go of the past. Wake up alone and face a new world full of unknowns. The pioneers arrived here right out of Auschwitz, the memories still fresh, faces of loved ones fading as new steps are made in a new land. And perhaps, from a distance, there is a one in a million chance ...some happiness awaits.
A young woman sits on her suitcases. Hey, are you flying El Al? We become friends and travel companions. Makes the journey more enjoyable. She has her story, which shall remain private, a difficult past. Trying life in a new country, trying to find a better life, full of dreams but not knowing where it will lead. Leaving behind all that she knows, all that is comfortable. A friendly face can make a difference. Strangers in the night but it makes the night better. "I always meet the right people" she tells me. I help her out of a bit of a jam. The right people appear.
A pioneer, a refugee is digging a ditch and singing. A new land, a new language but new hope as well.
A new day has arisen, the sun will shine again, and with each day comes new hope, even in Auschwitz the sun brought hope.
Annie tells me about the moon and the stars and the new beginnings, yes, it all sounds strange but yet familiar. There is always tomorrow and each new day is a new opportunity. Yes, we know that, simple, but not simple, profound.
It is simple but profound. How many of us really face the new day with a feeling that this is a totally new opportunity?
How many of us wake up with the excitement that we have been given a new day, a new chance? How many of us really understand this concept of new beginnings? How many of us really have the courage to grasp this, to really take advantage of this opportunity.
Yes, new morning, new day, yes, we all get it, but how many of us really do it? It is so simple but yet so totally profound, to realize that every day is a chance to do it all over again, not to wallow in the past but to see new opportunities untainted by the past. How many?
We carry our demons, we all have our scares but how many of us really see the new day and say today is going to be different because I am going to be different?
The journey can last a lifetime.
A man stands next to me, he feels so alone, I give him my card, I hope he calls. At least to have a phone number, to know there is someone you can call. A young woman sits on her luggage, she has been there a long time, she has her concerns, her dreams. I say Hello.
New York City, 1980's, I look at the phone, I know it will not ring, no one knows I am here, no one knows me.
A woman sits on her luggage at the airport, a man looks towards me, eager to share his lonely story. A phone remains silent.
We are about to begin a journey, in more ways than one. Those first steps into the unknown. Steps hit the pavement, each step takes us further away from an old life, and further into the unknown. Soon the journey becomes more familiar. All beginnings are difficult but we know that we must move forward, there is no turning back.
A man leans on his suitcase, this is it, he is leaving home for good and seeking a new life. He tells his secretary to throw out all his old certificates, she is stunned. She is staying but he is going. We are going into the unknown. We are going into the new day and we must keep walking, suitcase in hand. One step at a time.
Each new day is a new opportunity, this is so simple and yet...so profound.
And the story has no end
The story of an old nation, a new nation, a nation that came back to life, a nation that refuses to give up. This is a nation that everyday faces the new day with hope, optimism and hard work.
The unique morality and ethics of the Israeli army and its nation of warriors.
$9.99 on Kindle
This is required reading for all IKI instructors!