One week from now I'll be on a Jetstar flight, surrounded by Australians at the start of winter holidays, making my way to Bali. I'm excited that my schedule this time will allow me a whole 30 hours in Bali; last time I was in Bali for 12 hours, and I spent most of that either sleeping or getting to or from the airport. I found the Hindu culture in Denpassar absolutely fascinating and am looking forward to getting to explore just a little bit.
In Bali I'll meet up with my partner in crime Rabbi David Kunin from the Jewish Community of Tokyo. The two of us will catch one of those crack-of-dawn flights which seem to be a part of life in Indonesia, and we'll fly to Yogyakarta in central Java. We'll be off and running!
To recap from last year--Indonesia is an enormous country. A great deal of our time will be spent traveling from one place to another. Even once we arrive in the general area of where we need to be, it will no doubt take even more time to navigate through the clogged Indonesian roads to our destinations.
If you take a look at this map, you'll see Jakarta on the west side, which is where we will spend our first Shabbat after we depart central Java. On the far east side of the country, a seven hour flight away, is West Papua, where we will travel for our second week. Papua is exotic even for most Indonesians, and Rabbi Kunin and I are very eager to meet these folks who, despite the distance both physical and spiritual from much of the Jewish world, have committed themselves passionately to a Jewish life
So consider this blog entry just a small taste of things to come. There will be very few and possibly no photos until I return to Australia. As I learned last year, internet speeds across Indonesia are very slow and service is bound to be patchy. But I will aim to post a new blog entry at least once every three days and hopefully more than that. In the meantime, do keep us in your thoughts as we embark on this new adventure!
Rabbi Shoshana Kaminsky
I've been the rabbi of Beit Shalom Progressive Synagogue in Adelaide since 2006. As part of the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, New Zealand and Asia, I'm preparing for my second trip to Indonesia to meet with Jewish communities there.