I love this part of the country. I love looking out the window and seeing the hills rising up behind the houses, particularly as the sun sets and the white walls of the houses turn rosy and orange. I'll stay in Beit Shemesh another night or so, as I try to figure out the easiest way to get me and all of my stuff to the kibbutz.
I have yet to encounter anyone here who voices support for the disengagement. Opinions vary as to what will happen now, and whether the IDF will soon be rolling right back into Gaza, and whether we ever will actually give up the Shomron, but so far I have not heard anyone say that they think the pullout was a good idea. Then again, the only Israelis that I have had this conversation with have all been dati. I don't know if that's making a difference. I've heard that a number of settlers from Gush Katif have relocated to kibbutz Yavne, so I may soon have the chance to hear their thoughts in their own words. The only argument that I've had on this subject has been with Sam. He thinks he won, but we both know that I conceded nothing.
I feel like I should be having some very deep and interesting thoughts about my life right now, but I really have no coherent thoughts about being in Israel. I have no idea what to expect when I get to Yavne. I have no mental image of what the kibbutz will look like, no sense of what ulpan will be like, no expectations of what the people will be like, either the other ulpan students or the kibbutzniks themselves. All I have is a vague sense that this year is one day going to be a very important chapter in my best-selling autobiography.