It’s September 25th and I’m sitting in my favourite café in Tel Aviv. The last time I was in this magical place was 11 weeks ago. The fact that I set off again and gave up my yoga retreat in Croatia for it amazes my myself. My alibi: to work remotely from here. In order to experience everyday life properly and be able to work well at the same time, I have rented a flat in the beautiful Neve Tzedek district.
Tonight is Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the “Days of Awe”, which end with the Feast of Atonement Yom Kippur ten days later. Why I am here at this time of all times, heaven knows. This morning a friend wishes me Shana Tova (Happy New Year). This made me feel a little melancholy. Because the Israelis are family people and celebrate “New Years Eve” together with their clan — and it’s usually very big. I realise that I underestimated the New Year thing in my preparation for this trip. So what to do when the whole country is celebrating with the family, restaurants are closed and you yourself have no invitation or date? If I could make a wish, I would beam myself into a Jewish family.
Walking through my neighbourhood, I pass a wine shop. “Oh,” I think, “why don’t I stock up on a few good drinks? The shop assistant, a young woman in her early 20s, asks me what I’m doing in the evening and is visibly dismayed when I tell her about my plans to sit on the beach with alcoholic drinks ;-)). Her reaction: “You cannot be on your own on Rosh Hashanah. Please come to my house and celebrate with me and my family. It will be very crowded and a bit chaotic as we are a lot of people. But you are more than welcome to celebrate with us.”
The evening is a gift. I am welcomed with open arms by Rachel’s family — there are at least 20 of us. There is eating, drinking, chatting, laughing, hugging and in the end dancing. I am in bliss.
Eleanor Roosevelt was right: The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.