These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

So Many Ways

Posted on June 3, 2013 by Stuart Matan Lithwick

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It is so hard to believe Annie and my year in Israel is already over! We are sitting in our hostel room in Tel Aviv, taking in the sounds of the city, as we contemplate returning to Toronto, changed in so many ways.

This year has been a year with so many different facets. Challenging, exciting, tiring, renewing… It has really been a year of rebirth for us, clearing out a lot of hard stuff to make room for growth as we uproot our lives here in Israel and put down roots back in Canada. Annie and I finished our time in Jerusalem with a visit to the Kotel… As we were about to leave, I looked back and realized that this would be the last time for a long time that I would be so close, and how grateful I was for the opportunity. What I thought in that moment was “This year in Israel has been such a gift”.


Being able to spend my first year of marriage with Annie in Israel was such a gift. There was something so special about getting to know each other, making good friends, and exploring our world on our own and together in a place like this. I am truly blessed. I feel like I know myself and Annie so much better than I did when I first stepped off the plane in Tel Aviv. I remember when I first heard the Muslim call to prayer on my first morning in Jerusalem, my gut reaction was fear. When I hear it now, I feel awe, and sadness knowing that I will be leaving it here.

I am excited to be returning to Canada to begin building a life with Annie, the love of my life (I am so blessed!). But I now realise how much I am going to miss being here. The energy in Israel is unique and feeds me. I hope that we can bring some of that energy back with us.

May you all be able to do the same!

Love always,