I just returned with my family from a two-week trip to Israel.
I haven't been to Israel in years...25 to be exact! So much has changed, so much has remained the same.
The physical landscape has changed, with new buildings and development throughout the country.
But the heart of Israel -- the Jewish nation -- remains. Every visible stripe of Jew can be found throughout. Every type of kippah and head covering adorn the heads of men and women. Tzitzit fringes flutter freely on men and boys of every size.
Jerusalem. The city of gold...and pink...and white...and blue. Magnificent, beautiful, striking and enveloping. Coddling us, as we coddle it.
People tell me that when they travel UP to Jerusalem, they are encaptured by an overwhelming rush of emotion, a pure happiness meant to sustain. I understand that myself now. A deflation of sorts happens as you drive down, out of Jerusalem, its scenery reflected in the rearview mirror.
To attend a wedding, with the backdrop of Jerusalem as the tableau, the bride and groom under the open-aired chupah, the glass being broken followed by a beautiful cantorial rendition of "Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim (If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem)" takes one's breath away. As does the country. As do the sunsets. As do the Welcome signs.