I wanted to get this down before I go to sleep, because it was fascinating to see how the process of elimination works. These are points that just came out while I was free-associating with the Nefesh b’Nefesh Go North person this morning, but they each helped narrow things down considerably, in terms of what we want.
Basically, it all begins with a description of what we have here:
- a diverse, kiruv-oriented community with many geirim, baalei teshuvah, neighbours and friends with varying degrees of religious observance – translates to “we don’t need everybody around us to look and act exactly like us.”
- one so-so Hebrew speaker (me) and one pretty not-great Hebrew speaker (Ted) – translates to “don’t drop us off somewhere we cannot communicate.”
- a shul that calls out page numbers – hmm… does this translate directly? maybe just, “I don’t think a one-shul town is the place for us.”
- the heroine’s plaintive cry in F. Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden: ‘“Might I,” quavered Mary, “might I have a bit of earth?”’ – translates to “give me a patch of earth on which to garden; a mirpeset (balcony) might not be enough.”
- I can hop on a subway and get downtown – heck, I can walk out the door and STROLL downtown if I have a couple of hours to spare – translates to “please don’t strand us in the middle of nowhere??”
- living in a teeny-tiny little ancient house we don’t actually own – translates to “perhaps somewhere with plenty of rental accomodation.”
I’m sure there were more points, but this is what I remember now, twelve hours and a busy day later. This is what we’re looking for – our little patch of Toronto in the north (or not-so-north) of Israel.
The other nice thing is that she sent me home with a nice little map of the north. So I stuck it up on the wall. Naomi Rivka asked, “is that where we’re going to live in Israel?” I said, “maybe.”