In a little shop at the top of the ancient and holy city of Tsfat — and we climbed at least 100 steps in the hot sun to get there, believe me — I found a necklace, the very one meant for me. Its oval pendant of Roman glass meant more than the nearby gemstones. That’s because its centerpiece is not one smooth bit of glass. It’s made of many broken pieces of blue, purple and white; all put together to be more than the sum of its parts.
Our day had begun hours before with the most recognized of Hebrew words, “Shalom.” Shalom is known to mean “peace,” but it also means “wholeness.” And it’s something that doesn’t come easy, and maybe it shouldn’t come easy, because then we wouldn’t even notice the feeling of Shalom.
Later I wondered whether that pendant of Roman glass would seem as unique if it were a single piece, even purple. I don’t think so. In the same way, Ruchi Koval, our Trip Leader, explained that strong relationships are something to strive for and she had three fantastic tips that gave a lot of us an ‘ah-ha’ moment. Ruchi said that when Shalom is achieved, “It’s a beautiful mosaic that is more than the sum of its broken parts.”
At dinner later, along the Sea of Galilee, we reflected on what makes our group unique to us. Anya said, “Everybody brings something that’s needed at this time.” We are diverse in terms of background and religious practice, but here we are together… a beautiful mosaic.
Allentown (Lehigh Valley), PA