New beginnings!

My first step on the Holy Land!

On September 9th, I landed in Tel Aviv with various emotions, because I did not know what questions I was going to be asked about my visa, when I came through Immigration. In fact, I need not have worried, because everything was fine.

I had a warm welcome. Sister Juliana and Erika were waiting for me at the airport. I was so happy to meet Erika again after we had been in different places for a while.

The journey from Tel Aviv to Ein Karem seemed short to me, because I was so excited to reach the Ein Karem Community! This community is going to be my home for the next two years. I like it here. The place is quiet, surrounded by beautiful flowers and there are a variety of birds which add to a great sense of harmony with nature.

Ein Karem is an amazing village, peaceful and also full of history. All the time that I walk in this village I feel as if Mary, our Mother, is walking with me, like a mother with her child.

I was both blessed and happy, to arrive at the time of such a big feast for the Jewish people, namely Rosh Hashana. A New Year for them, and, at the same time, a new year for me.

Rosh Hashana invites us to remain silent in front of the mystery of the Creation of the World, as God invites us to remain silent in front of His Call; we can pause for reflection over these occasions in our lives.

During these past two weeks I have been to many different places: Ecce Homo, The Mountain of Olives, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, The Western Wall – where we took part in a Yom Kippur celebration. It was a deep liturgy and I tried to be part of this prayer, asking God to forget the sins of our society, so that, at the end of the feast, I could really enjoy the sound of the Shofar.

Over these days the Jewish people are celebrating the feast of Sukkot and I am delighted because I can see what it is all about, not just read about it in a book.

I love to be here, and I thank God for that!

Iulia NDS
Ein Karem 05.10.2018