Monday, August 27, 2012

New Beginnings

I just love the first day of school; it’s filled with promise and excitement – new starts and eager beginnings. Every time we arrive at the first day of school, I have the same memory that comes flooding back.

Eight years ago today, as we prepared to get our two little guys ready for their first day of school in Israel, I heard my landlord, Yoram, upstairs singing to his children. “First day of school! First day of school! Everyone up, it’s the first day of school!” I was struck then, as I am so often now, about how Israel feels like such a collective village at times. The entire country – every single Israeli school – starts on the same day. This creates an energy that is pervasive and exciting.

I had a flat tire this morning (great luck for the first day of school), but as I pulled into the body shop and saw a few people from the yishuv, they all commented on it.

“No big deal! Just a little thing to deal with on the first day.”

“Oy! What a thing to worry about. Never mind though...How was drop off?”

Every Facebook post is about the drop off, about how Yair or Yaakov or Yehuda did at school and about how Avi or Mayan or Chana didn’t cry. Even the Google Doodle for Israel today is all about the first day of school! And since every child starts on the same day, it gives a feeling of camaraderie – of closeness and collectiveness that you don’t get in too many other places.

So, as we took our “First Day of School” picture on the steps as we do every year, I heard Yoram in my head, smiled at where we’ve come since 8 years ago today, and sent each kid off with a kiss and a bracha (prayer) for a wonderful year.

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