Conversations with my Rabbi / Lori Mendel
Blog #7 June 1
I came to Israel in 1986 and was here for about a year. During that time it became very clear that I would have to do (six) things to survive here. I went back to LA and took care of those things and arrived at the new and improved airport terminal in 1989.
At that time the arrival procedure was to go upstairs in the airport to an office to get processed.
In the waiting area was also a family from Ethiopia…with their long robes, having difficulty walking around in closed shoes, big baskets with fragrances I couldn’t identify, and long horsehair fly swatters.
I laughed to myself: How can it be that these people and I are from the same tribe?
Just as they did, I got my papers, Teudat Oleh, and arrangements for housing and ulpan for the next six months.
After we were all processed, we got into a van heading for the Merkaz Klita in Beer Sheva. Along with the new Ethiopians was an Israeli Ethiopian guy who was a social worker, to help them get settled. They were all chattering and I asked him, “What are you all talking about?” and he told me they wanted to know about their aunts and uncles who were already in Israel.
I told Rabbi Ayala about my arrivals and we decided this is a remarkable collection here!!!