Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
"Shalom Sivan, My name is Sara Simla. I want to tell you about our journey. The weekly Torah portion is Matot-Massei: 'These are the journeys of the children of Israel' (Numbers 33:1) is written in it, and then there are details of the journeys of the children of Israel during their wandering in the desert. Our commentators explain that only when we look back do we understand why we had to make each stop along the way and overcome every obstacle. This is a Torah portion that calls upon us to look back and understand, after the fact, why things happened the way they did.
I grew up in the city of Lyon, France. My dream was to come to Israel and build my life here. At the age of 25, at the moment my plane touched the ground, I felt at home. From there I went to Ulpan Etzion in order to learn Hebrew. In the same city where I lived in France, in the same synagogue where I prayed, Rodi Hazizah prayed too. This was amazing, but we had never spoken. We knew the same people, but we never met each other. He finished his master's degree in France but did not find himself there. He was missing something. His brother had made aliyah, convinced him to do the same, and he arrived at Ulpan Etzion. You want to guess what happened next? We are getting married in a few weeks, with HaShem's help.
Yesterday, at Yitzchak Herzog's farewell ceremony as Chairman of the Jewish Agency, we told our story. You can never know where your life's journey will take you. I wanted to say that our journey ended here, but actually - it's only beginning."