A Brief Encounter: Finding My Grandfather in Israel

By Matthew Eisenberg, Oranim Internship Experience
How do I explain in words who my grandfather was and what he meant to me?  I guess if you took all that is right in the world and mixed it with the biggest heart, you would have my grandfather.  I didn’t know it back then but he is everything I now hope to be.
My story begins nine years ago when I was in Israel.  I was on a kibbutz when my grandfather got sick.  At the time, my parents were on a trip in Europe and started making the necessary arrangements to return.  But my grandfather told my father no, he had to continue on his trip.  You see, my father’s trip was supposed to end with a visit to Israel to spend time with me, and that was more important to my grandfather.
My family believes that Israel is a very special place.  Growing up I learned that if you fall off the path that you need to be on, a trip to Israel will set you right.  I was in Israel trying to find meaning and purpose, and my grandfather believed that my father’s visit to Israel was more important than his return to the US to be with him.  So, my dad came, we had a spectacular time and then he went home to his father.

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