Expect the Unexpected

Casa Rosada

Casa Rosada, “The Pink House”

Our trip is about to start. On Wednesday June 20th, B’ezrat Hashem, Gd willing, a group of 22 Beth El congregants will leave Washington and go to Argentina, my native country, where we will spend 10 days together traveling, learning, eating a lot and enjoying all that the country offer.

We will visit many meaningful places. For example we will be welcomed by the government as  an “official trip” at the Pink House (the equivalent of the White House), we will go to Iguazu, to see the famous falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Even as a native I’ve never been either to these attractions, so the trip will offer some new experiences for me too!

As we communicated details of the trip and worked to build new relationships with the group, I also tried to explain how different it is in Argentina; the customs, the economy and the lifestiles are very unlike the US.

To put it in simple words: the group of travelers should expect the unexpected.

Argentina continues to change- even since we first started planning the trip. How a country and its population can survive 9% currency devaluation in one day? Can you imagine losing the value of every dollar in your pocket by $.10 in a single day?

When my fellow travelers and I first met last November, the exchange was $ 1 for 17 pesos. Seven months later $1 equals 26 pesos… Maybe good for the tourists, not so good for the locals.

Despite the economic challenges, the country’s beauty, the nature, the good people, and the good food make it a good combination.

As I am writing these lines, the head of Argentina’s workers union declared a general strike (I mean GENERAL, EVERYBODY STRIKES!!!!) the day we are flying to Iguazu.  What should we do?

The first thing I do is pray. I prayed and some minutes later I learned the organizers moved the date strike to one day earlier… Prayers answered? Well that one day change is better than nothing…

But still… what should I do? Expect the unexpected in Argentina and beyond!

There are so many areas to explore, varied places to visit, and many more of life’s moments to enjoy.

Our life is a journey that we transit hand by hand with our tradition and the best way to navigate it is expecting the unexpected, exploring, visiting, and enjoying.

I encourage you to be open to explore new areas of our tradition that you have never experienced. I encourage you to try and embrace a new mitzvah.

Even if you are not traveling a great distance his summer, I invite you to be open to visit a new place you’ve never been to. Try to visit a new synagogue, and share your feedback and experience with us, what did you like; what would you love to see happen in our synagogue?

Enjoy more of your life’s experiences hand in hand with our Jewish traditions. Eat a new fruit, bless Schecheyanu. See a bolt of lightning, say the blessing “Ose maasei B’reshit”.

That is what the journey of our life is about, expecting the unexpected and embracing it.


Posted by Rabbi Fabián Werbin


wow have a great trip filled with unexpected adventures!

Reina Lerner

Have a wonderful trip! Go well, return well, and enjoy every minute in between.

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