א. My necklace broke. My necklace has broken before, and each time I have fixed it. This time, I didn’t fix it. In a battle with a mosquito, it tore off my neck and into a silver heap on the table.
I’ve been wearing (and breaking and fixing) this necklace since I was sixteen, right before I went to Israel for the first time. Sue gave it to me (though Jayme claimed it was her gift at the time), as a farewell token. It was a compass. Or it was a sunburst. Or it was the sun. It was on my neck, always. I cycled through two or three different chains, not wanting to part from the charm or find a suitable replacement. It was small and special and silver and Sophie.
Days before I enlist in an army for the same country in which I first began wearing my sunburst/compass, the necklace broke. I can’t help but contemplate the symbolism that the necklace breaking represents. A new stage in life. A new adventure. The official removal of my visitor status.
Yet, the necklace breaking also signified a decision I had been struggling with: do I keep my silver necklace on, or do I keep my gold one?
In the army, women can only wear one necklace. For the past few months, I have been wearing two: my weathered sunburst and my new golden heart, given to me by my friend. My boyfriend, if you will. I didn’t want to take off either necklace because they were both connected to my outward expression of self. Thankfully, I didn’t have to choose. The mosquito chose for me.
ב. I arrived at the intersection of my kibbutz at night, beginning my kilometer-long jaunt to gate. As I began my journey, someone called over to me. It was a man outside of a car with all the doors open. I didn’t recognize him. He offered me a ride in the direction I was going. I declined.
Seconds later, a car pulled up beside.
“Garin Tzabar?” the kibbutznik asked.
I nodded and got in.
It was one of those moments in my life that I wavered agnostic. Hashem had definitely sent the stranger I knew, after I declined the stranger I didn’t know, saving me from a kidnapping or who knows what. Baruch Hashem.
ג. I was making granola bars in our moadon, listening to a podcast when I overheard kibbutz kiddos in the room over. I paused my pod because they were being loud. As I continued sifting through oats and almonds, I heard the teacher ask the children what language people spoke before they came to Israel. The dominant answer was Hebrew, but as the teacher explained, Hebrew didn’t exist – so people had to speak German and English and Arabic and Russian before they got to Israel. Overhearing preschoolers learn about their land before it was country made me smile.