Birthright Journal - Day 11

5/29 “All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...” It's very somber today. We hugged our goodbyes and did it again. Then we waited in line and then hugged it out some more. I feel blessed that I got to be with these specific 48 very special people. Got a small sammich in case the airplane food is bad (We all know the gist about airplane food), some snacks and after a few hours, boarded our flight. People bought alcohol and I continued my resistance to purchase a fidget spinner. (Go me for a little bit of self-control!) It doesn't really get interesting or anything after that, so I'll end it here. I never liked the lyrics in “Jerusalem” by Matisyahu, "Jerusalem if I forget you let my right hand forget what it's supposed to do." Because I never knew Jerusalem. But now I do, so I feel qualified to say that Jerusalem, if I forget you, let my right hand forget what it's supposed to do!

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Bonus! Birthright roll call: I know I forgot some people but forgive me, this was just something I spat out when I woke up at 5 am due to jet lag and fighting a case of miscellaneous sickness. (Message me and I'll sneakily add you to the list!) Joffe- the hopeless romantic more than myself Joey- most likely to get punched by an Israeli Amanda- leaned on me; slept on my shoulder (truth: yes, I loved every second of when I was "stuck") Yannai- badass Israeli ninja if I've ever seen one Ido- our group leader who flipped me the bird (that was hilarious! I still can't believe it!) Dani- group mom Margie- my buddy if we ever had to hide from going to shul Brenna- independent woman who wouldn't let me pay for her lunch Hodaya- couldn't believe I wasn't popular in school Shults- small spoon Alex- kept me from getting triggered by Judaic objects and rituals Natalie- forever triggered by camels Marissa- went to the ER during the only time our morale was low (coincidence?) Benji- quoted scripture so that I didn't have to Ron- willing to go to war alongside me Ram- keeper of the darkest but funniest memes Daniel- most likely to film my documentary Brandon- taught fifth graders the law of inertia Daniel- knew more movies and video games than I do Eric- took him 5 seconds what I took 5 minutes to order the same food Simon- didn't need a trench-coat to try to sell pornography to minors Terry- smart enough to keep quite when people started talking about politics Maya- thought we Americans were the mature ones Ben- used me to smuggle booze onto the bus Jen- my buddy who sat out with me whenever they might have gave us peanuts Julia- I think of you and I think: "cool chick" Jared- down for anything Ilana- super smiley and bubbly, and sensual putting on lotion dancer Lindsay- even though there were quite a few of them, I thought you were the most "out-of-my-league", I literally had to keep my jaw from dropping because I couldn't believe you were talking to me "Tipsy"- (and I mean this in highest compliment:) you are the spitting image of what I imagine my mom was like when she was my age Lauren- the most down to earth and person to hang out with Tal- (again, this is only a compliment:) bleeding-heart Israeli nationalist and made all the girls swoon (I'm sure the guys, too!) Kari- such a big heart and so sweet! Melanie- tested my "inner gentleman" during a children's card game Charlie- most likely to host the reunion Abbey- made sure to check in on everyone to make sure they were having fun Brooke- so much fun Mike- the most chill and "too cool for school" Josh- I feel like we'd be best friends since kindergarten if I went to kindergarten with you And now, the special (in every way it can be read as) crew of "The little raft that (just barely) could":

Colette- our captain with the spirit of four Jewish moms Madison- best Bat Mitzvah speech ("why not"- ״למה לא״) and my sympathetic drinking buddy Jeremy- bus DJ Annie- always "on board" with whatever wacky antics I was doing, and out-of-the-blue songs I started singing Emily- the only pickier eater than myself, my favorite person to riff with, and we swapped creams and gels like lunches at school.

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