Last week, a short trip to Target with my three daughters, turned into an interesting experience. While standing in the checkout line, an older woman in a red striped, sleeveless dress and flip flops, came up to us and mentioned how adorable the kids looked. It took me a moment to realize that she made the comment in Hebrew. I smiled and said thank you and moved a few steps forward in line.
The woman continued and asked me why the girls were not in camp. I took the opportunity to practice my Ivrit, and responded that we are making aliyah in August, so they are not attending camp this summer. This stranger's eyes welled up with tears as she started to explain how happy she was for us. As you probably can guess, she was a native Israeli herself. She lived in Tel Aviv and moved to Baltimore many years ago. She turned to my oldest daughter and told her about how everyone in Israel is friendly and welcoming. She described how amazing the country was and how much she missed it.
It was our turn at the register, so I inched my cart and kids to the self check out. The woman followed behind us and continued to talk to us about her sister who still lives in Israel, and her son who is a pilot in the Israeli army. We had some issues with our checkout, so I turned my attention to the Target employee who helped us complete our transaction.
We left the store.
This lady found us as we were loading our items into our car and continued to tell us how even though it will be hard in the beginning it will be worth it. She repeated how happy she was to hear that we were making aliyah. I could see how genuine she was. The tears still in her eyes as she spoke. We exchanged goodbyes, and we finally drove home.
The girls were so curious. How did I understand what this lady was saying? Why was she crying? Why was she happy that we were moving? As we talked about it on the way home, I felt so validated. Even a stranger in Target understood how right it was for us to move. And to top it off, I had a full conversation in Hebrew. I guess I will be able to make it after all...