Rosie Zweiback took what some may call a roundabout path back to Temple Israel after moving away for college. To hear her tell the tale, it was fraught with the cynical disillusionment of a young woman who, away from home and exposed to new and different ideas, thought she knew what was best.
It’s a story of galut, or exile, as Rosie bounced around the world, to Europe, to California, to New Jersey, but never finding a temple as familiar, as comfortable, as the one she left behind in Omaha.
Rosie’s is a warm, loving tale, and possibly familiar to many who have left home at one time or another, only to find out that home is where you were meant to be all along. Which is not to say that Rosie’s journey was not a fruitful one, as she met and married her husband, Mace, and had three children, Grace, Joe and Abby.
But despite all that she had been fortunate enough to accumulate during her galut, something was still missing from Rosie’s life. She was still without a temple she felt she really belonged to. So when her husband got a job in Lincoln, Rosie was overjoyed to be able to return to the temple of her youth, and to experience it all again as if for the first time. When she left Omaha, Rosie was a teenager heading off to college. When she returned, she was a wife and a mother, eager to share the memories of her childhood with her own children.
Rosie’s tale is not unique, in that we all search for the people and places with whom we feel most comfortable, most at home with. But Rosie’s story is special, because without her galut, she may never have realized just how important Temple Israel truly is to her.