And here is how I ended that letter to my family and friends:
I had hoped to end with sweeping conclusions about my week, but I can't. There's still too much to think about--to bring back, discuss, discover. I do know I was wrong to feel unworthy of visiting Israel. It's the being there that makes us worthy, and not the other way around. "Place" means so little these days. We go online and think we've reached the other side of the world, but we're fooling ourselves. We need to breathe its air, meet its people; maybe this is just a human trait, or flaw. I certainly don't pretend to understand much after a week, but this trip was so filled with learning, and the love of our organizers and rabbis of teaching, that I felt and saw more than I ever imagined I would.
I believe we're made of pieces that find us over the course of our lifetimes. The empty part in me about Israel was so big that I was afraid to even try and fill it. Now I can, at least partly, and I hope that greater understanding, and more visits in the future, will make me even more complete.