The stories of our people are shot through with vibrant, painful threads of wishing for home. Even though that home is Eretz Yisrael, not Columbus, Ohio, over the past year a big part of me felt like I was mourning my exile from Ohio much more than from Israel.
No one knows better than our people - when you leave home, it hurts. No matter where "home" is. And when you get to come back, it's so, SO good.
So, you can imagine the feelings that surged through me as my car rumbled over the Lane Avenue Bridge last week. I saw the Shoe, and the Schott. I saw how eighty percent of the students don't think it's weird to wear Ohio State gear, they're so proud to be students here. I saw the huge "Champions Lane" sign. I turned down Pearl Avenue, my car's tires crunching over the gravel and cracked cement, and into the parking lot of a gorgeous brick building. Hillel. Home.
Hillel was my Jewish home during college, and then as a brand-new rabbi. It's where I heard kiddush every Shabbat, celebrated my children's namings, and found shoulders to cry on. It's where I learned so very much about what it means to be a Jew. I'm so happy and grateful that, for this coming year, I get to work there again. Even though it never stopped being home, it's very, very good to be back.