Yom Sheni, 3 Cheshvan 5768/15 October 2007, Monday
Okay. I'll admit it. I am foolishly in love, like a guy on his third date. He knows she's The One. But he is definitely a bit giddy. I mean, who can still feel this way 20 years from now?
We landed in Israel on Wednesday, last week. It was dreadful getting out of America. I have this image of our possessions as a Quicksand Monster, sucking us down into Baltimore, fighting not to let us go. We were at least an hour late leaving for the airport, due to "stuff" that still had to be put somewhere, stored somewhere, given away. A metaphor for life in America. "Possessions are prison." My new motto. We didn't have the time we wanted to have with humans, due to stuff. That is truly sad. Nu? We took the lesson. In Israel, we WILL make due with less. Good for us: the US Army pension just might cover the bills.
We barely made the plane. The good side of that was that everything was exhilaratingly in hyper-drive. The Israeli El Al guy who grilled us had to talk super-fast. ("Whopackedthesebags?Weretheyev
Our answers were equally fast-paced. It was like some kind of race that we were all in on. He wanted us to be successful, you could tell. And there were too many bags, and they were over-weight. I don't recommend flying like this. Organization is our friend. But Hashem determined that it would work. This time.
El Al misplaced our misspelled name on their manifest. We didn't exist. Still, they managed to find seats for us. Dani and Aryeh were in Row 29, with a grouchy seat-mate. (They spent the flight watching every movie they could get away with, parental supervision being rather far away.) Avi had the miracle of leg room, in Row 45, in an aisle bulkhead seat. Ruti was in Row 54, aka "Yeshivishe Bocher Central." Proof that G-d loves Jews is that He placed a woman who raises "crops of boys" in an aisle seat with seemingly 50 bochrim climbing over her head to find minyanim and opportunities to learn throughout the 10-hour flight. No one else could have put up with this graciously; and I had no problem pointing this out to the bochrim. Puh-puh-puh. It gave me the leverage to demand -- and to receive -- a phenomenal d'var Torah during our meal.
The flight personnel were uncommonly gracious. We had a wonderful flight. And one friend remarked that we may have been seated separately by Design, so as to have time to assimilate the amazing change that was taking place in our lives.