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A Letter from Israel

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin


"Shalom Sivan, This is Rachel Kastner. A week ago, you wrote about my going away party as I was leaving New York. I am now writing to you from my balcony in my new apartment in Tel Aviv. In the first verse of this week’s Torah portion, Chayei Sarah, it’s written that Sarah passed away at the age of 127, and Rashi comments that her years were all equally good. How were all of her years equally good? Sarah was subjected to many challenging journeys and peregrinations, protracted infertility, struggles and trials. But when we look at all of this in retrospect, we see growth from crises and recognize that there was meaning in every moment of her life, even with all the difficulties. Bottom line: every moment was equally good.
I am encountering Israel with lots of smiles and assistance, kindness and excited welcomes from everyone. Even the neighborhood grocer wished me success. But I am also experiencing difficult moments: missing my former home, enduring exhausting bureaucracy, buying and organizing without end, attempting to activate my sim card, even witnessing the explosion of my boiler… The guy who fixed it said he would come by at 11 and did not show up until 3. Perhaps the concept of time is different in Israel?
Despite everything, from a zoom out perspective on these exciting and challenging days, I have no doubt that every day in Israel is worth it. If you believe in what you are doing, everything is equally good".


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