Dec 2, 2013  By Jewish National Fund  Category: Travel,

Forging new bonds: The Queen of Sheba Mission

Queen of Sheba Mission 2013 Final from Giraffe Sheba on Vimeo.

How does one capture all the experiences they had on a Mission trip with KKL-JNF in just one page?

Let me begin by saying that this was my first Mission and really my first experience as an adult with KKL-JNF.

I came across the Queen of Sheba Mission accidently when I was searching the web for something to do in Israel out side of a normal tour or hanging with friends on the beach.

Sometimes, things are just meant to be. The Queen of Sheba Mission was exactly inside the dates I needed to take my vacation time. Weird right? LOL

I really had no idea what I was getting into, other than; I was going to spend nine days with a group of ladies I didn’t know. How bad could it be? It was Israel. We’re all Jewish. I’m sure there will be good food. I was sold!

I’m not exactly sure the exact hour that it happened, but all of a sudden, I turned around and I was travelling with my family. The connections I made with these women were beyond explanation. You have to trust me on this. I know what it is to have connections with people. I have spent the last 15 years serving in the Military, so I understand how strong bonds are formed, but this was so unique.

I have to be honest. I was so jealous of these women. For 15 years, I have dedicated my life to people and countries not my own and yet, here stood before me these amazing women. Selflessly, giving of themselves for the State of Israel. I was beyond inspired. I knew I had to be apart of it, but I was so frustrated in trying to figure out where or what project to be apart of.

It was in the Negev that so many pieces of “the puzzle of life” came together for me. It wasn’t my first time there. My Fathers side of the family came to Israel after the Shoah. I have a strong connection with Israel, despite being raised in the west, but it was like I was seeing Israel through different eyes.

Visiting the communities being developed throughout the south. Meeting the people dedicating their lives to populating that beautiful landscape. Feeling with all your senses the dream of David Ben Gurion and so many others come to life is something words cannot to justice to.

That’s when I knew that I had found a new piece to my puzzle, but I still couldn’t quite connect it yet to see the whole picture. I needed time to think, to reflex, and to put everything into perspective. I had to ask myself what about Israel changed for me this time? I’ve traveled all over Israel throughout the years, but something was different. Something was new and yet, for the moment it felt out of reach.

It took sometime, but I realized what had changed. It was the realization that there was so much left to do in Israel. All these years I had thought the work was done. The dreams and visions of those before me had accomplished their task and now Israel was there for me to enjoy, but I was so wrong.

I knew then and there that I had found what I was searching for. I had been searching for a way to use 15 years of military experience for the State of Israel. It was in the Negev that I realized that security is not only defined in military terms or through military means. This may seem like common sense to you, but it was like a revelation for me. This new revelation that I could help in the development and population of the south to secure Israel’s border was life changing. I felt empowered to do something, to dedicate my time and my life to the development of the Negev. I know this is a very general statement and I may not have all the answers right now, but that’s ok, because at least I know where it all begins.

Thank you KKL-JNF and my Queen’s of Sheba for your inspiration to dream big, take action and get stuff done.

Michal B.