Joseph Hunt
Boston, U.S.A.

At the Western Wall, Jerusalem, Joseph Hunt at back left

At the Western Wall, Jerusalem, Joseph Hunt at back left

I'm a Caucasian American jazz musician. I am seventy-five years old and married to Yuka, a Japanese woman who introduced me to Makuya six years ago. I belong to the New England Makuya, a small ecclesia, or prayer group.

In the 1960s, I was living in New York City, playing drums in bands. Although many of my musician friends were Jewish, I didn't like Jewish music at the time. I found its melodies and words provincial and odd, and I simply was not interested in contemporary Jewish culture.

Three years ago my wife and I attended the 59th Makuya Pilgrimage to Israel. Participants flew there from Japan, the USA, and Canada. Soon after arriving, I was assigned to a bus on which English speakers spent the next ten days traveling throughout Israel.

I went to Israel more or less as a tourist. There is much to see there as a tourist, but pilgrimage is not a tour it's not mere sightseeing. Originally I didn t make this distinction, but I soon realized I didn t go there just to see where Jesus lived or to visit historical sites. There was more for me to experience.