The last couple of weeks have been predictably heart wrenching. And yet my heart wasn’t over wrought until the last couple of days because I was too busy packing our eighteen suitcases, and when I wasn’t packing I was thinking, dreaming, planning the packing. When you plan to live out of eighteen suitcases as a family of six for a year, what you pack becomes all important. It was a great distraction from saying goodbye

I believe there are no goodbyes. Only the Australian ‘see you later’ or the Hebrew, ‘Lehitraot’, which roughly means the same thing. One thing I’ve realised as a wandering Jew is that you carry your relationships in your heart. Even if you’re not with a person you love physically, you are with them in every other way. My grandmother, even though she passed away a couple of years ago and even though I’ve lived away from her for the last thirteen years, still speaks to me, guides me and is very much part of my life. ‘Dress beautifully’, she’d say in my mind as I get dressed in the morning. ‘Just a little bit of garlic, fry it this way,’ she’d whisper as I’m cooking. It makes me believe that relationships, and love is forever.

Leaving Johannesburg we have taken our loving family and friends with us. These last few months, since we said the impossible, ‘We are moving to Jerusalem’, the love and support we’ve been surrounded by has been tremendous. Enough to convince us not to go. To change our minds, to say, ‘Why in the world are we moving away from our wonderful family and community of friends?’

Except I don’t believe in goodbyes. Only hellos, only in friendships and loves that I carry over all the seas, in the nineteenth suitcase, as my husband’s aunt calls it. The invisible suitcase in our hearts with all the people we love in it.