Sunday, January 24, 2016

Signs Large and Small

I paid my 10 dollars for my visa and waded through the customs sign.  Curious, there's a sign stating that half a dozen countries do not have to pay for a visa to enter and Israel is among this ragtag group. I was intrigued.

I waited for the two other rabbis on my flight to make it through customs: Elise, the rabbi at Brandeis University and Ronit, a rabbi at Ikar in Los Angeles. 

As we read through the thorough directions that AJWS, Elise must have also been reading my mind.  "I wonder what they mean by a large sign? How large is large?"

I reply, "Are we talking burning bush large--or Mt. Sinai large." 

She is kind so she laughed at my nerdy bible joke, most likely unlike you, the reader.  We walked our winding route, through the doors to the main lobby of the airport as we talk about the subjectivity of large.

I uttered, "Now, the journey begins."

As I say these words, I am reminded of the poem Josè Caldas shared with me from the poet Antonio Machado:
Traveler, there is no path.
The path is made by walking.

Traveller, the path is your tracks
And nothing more.
Traveller, there is no path
The path is made by walking.
By walking you make a path
And turning, you look back
At a way you will never tread again
Traveller, there is no road
Only wakes in the sea.

Feeling kind of like Jews making their way through the Sea of Reeds, we  walked the middle path of throngs of people many holding up signs.  None of the large variety.  We made our way to the end of the people and we did not spotted the large AJWS sign.

There's a small current of anxiety, miniscule but many scenarios started playing out in my head and I read it in my colleagues eyes (or projected) as we assess next steps.  I went to look outside and aside from eager taxicab drivers I came up with bubkes. 

I head back in and signal to my colleagues that I will look through the throngs another time.  Sure, enough their was a tall slender man with a shaved head  holding the AJWS sign.

Incredibly warm and friendly Richard muses how we could have missed each other but efficiently dispatched us into a van as he waited or the next group. 

Into the van, Elise remarked to me humorously, "That was not a large sign."  "Actually no, it wasn't. It was actually a small sign."

Little did we know how large the signs...and the wonders still yet to come.

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