Saturday, December 18, 2010

carry my bones

Genesis 47:28 to 50:26

At age 147, Israel knew he would soon die.  He made his son Joseph promise to 'carry him out of Egypt' and to bury him with his ancestors in the promised land. 

Years later, when Joseph was 110, he asked his brothers to carry his bones up from Egypt when he died. 

Why would it matter?

During the early weeks of our travels, my husband and I talked about what we would do if either of us died on our trip.  Of course, this was a humorous rather cavalier conversation. Then, in Athens I stepped in front of a bus and as traffic screeched to a halt in front me, we revisited the question.

Last Friday in Tunisia, my husband had fish for lunch.  All of a sudden his eyes were watering and I asked, "Are you ok?" He could barely eek out, in a whisper, "I need water." 

I know the Heimlich, however, the rule I remembered from Red Cross training directs to use the maneuver only IF the person cannot talk or cough.  At least that's what went through my mind at the time.  The choking incident was super scary, and the most traumatic moment of our trip so far.  It crossed my mind that my husband might die right there in the restaurant.  The minutes went by very slowly and it seemed to take forever before he recovered.

Thankfully we are alive and well!  Now we have been in Tel Aviv/Jaffa for a week.  Tomorrow we'll go to Haifa and up to Mount Carmel. 
Today at a Shabbat service, we met a Norwegian tour guide who lives in Tel Aviv.  She described how she first visited Israel in 1976 and continued to visit until finally moving here permanently, years later.   Apparently this a a common phenonemon.  She predicted we will return home - and not long after being back in the U.S.,we will want to return to Israel.

Israel gets a hold of people.  This week's Torah portion describes two old men who wanted to return to their family's tiny plot of land after death. 

We have experienced this mysterious magnetic attraction to God's Promised land.  My father, a Scandinavian Lutheran, wanted to come here; he visited at age 85.  Who can explain this? 
He doesn't even particularily like to travel! 

Monday begins our 2nd week in Israel.  Mount Carmel has  long been on my 'wish' list - we are heading there tomorrow!

Shalom to you.

Thanks for reading Saturday Chores.


  1. I finally made my way to your blog. What a blessing and inspiration it is to ready about your journey. You've been in my thoughts and prayers often. I have a picture of your boy sitting next to my computer and say a prayer for him every time I reach for a post-it note. I overheard yesterday a transcript request for the CG. God's timing isn't necessarily our timing; thank God for that!

    I miss my prayer warrior office neighbor! :) Safe travels.


  2. Heather,
    Thank you for your prayers and hear now how they are answered! My boy has joined a mens Bible Study and has signed on for August 2011 in the nuclear engineering program w/the Navy. He believes things have been orchestrated according to God's will. Your support means so much. Shalom - Merry Christmas - my prayer for you is - rest from your regular pace and some relaxing time with your family (in Florida?!!!)
    Jane-your neighbor thru the wall:)