Hello-Goodbye: The Art of Moving On


Three Months. Can it be possible that this place has been my home for three months? In a way I don’t know what I think, I just know that time is going incredibly fast, and, honestly, I don’t know how I feel about that. Three months. If you had told me before I left what all was going to happen, would I have believed you? I think it’s good that I didn’t know…

In the past several months life has slipped into a pattern of normalcy. Get up. Go to class. Study. Wednesday night supper with Wayne’s and Sarah. Saturday Shabbat. Sunday night church. Do it again. Life passing quickly and slowly at the same time. Tucked into those moments so many feelings and thoughts, so many struggles as well as quiet joys. Life made up of little moments that shape and form and have left marks on my soul which can never be erased. But things don’t stay the same forever and the time for good-bye always comes.

This question of good-bye is something that I have wrestled with, and I’m still not quite sure of the answer…maybe there isn’t one set answer or a black and white for everyone. Caring about people hurts and investing can be so costly. Does the good outweigh the pain of the emptiness that comes with good-bye? Is investing worth it if you know it is only for a season and then you will be forced to move on? Depending on what day you ask me you might get a different answer.

The past few weeks have been filled with good-byes and hello’s. This past week was the ending of our Ulpan. It is hard to believe that this first segment of study is finished. By the time the day of the final exam had come, our class had radically dwindled and only the faithful few remained. Some people had to leave early because of circumstances out of their control while others simple stopped coming. There were so many though that have left footprints in my mind and on my heart. Anna, my dear friend who sang me opera in class one day, Peter, the Catholic priest I often teamed up with who on his last day before returning to Poland gave all the ladies roses, gave me a hug, and told me I was “like a daughter to him”, David, the sour-faced, mysterious American who never told us his last name or what he actually does at his job (maybe he would have had to kill us) :), Elias, who I assume has gone back to studying at his Yeshiva, Josef, gone pack to Paris to study Theology…all these people who have brushed up against my life who I may never get to see again. Was it worth it? Is good-bye worth it? And other short-term good-byes will effect the next few weeks as well, before moving us on into a new season of existence.


Part of my Ulpan class with our two teachers



Alyssa and Sarah, my two fellow adventurers!

However, I’ve often found that in the midst of good-byes, God often supplies us with some new hellos. Change can be hard and painful, but without struggle and growth, one dies a slow death. Thankfully, God has been filling my life with some new things while the old are fading away. While Sarah has returned to the US for a few weeks, Alyssa arrived last week and I got to go to make a trip to Tel Aviv to pick her up! I’ve also been blessed with so much beautiful music! Sometimes you don’t realize how much you missed something until you get it back. I’m playing with a community orchestra as well as singing in a Catholic Choir, which is an interesting experience to say the least! Hopefully these things will bring about new relationships and experiences–I’ll just choose not to think about the fact that this year will be over before I know it. There is definitely an art to embracing the joy of a moment without mourning it’s loss before it even comes. I have so much to learn. I want to learn it well.


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