And so here we are

It feels like we have been traveling for days, and we have. It feels like we are without a home, and we are. It feels like we are living in an alternate universe, and we are. It’s almost as if nothing that has happened since last week is real.

Last Tuesday was the 9th of Av, a day of great mourning for the Jewish people. I’ve written about it previously. This year, for me, personally, the 9th of Av was incredibly difficult. It felt like Tisha B’Av more than ever before – first because of our soldiers fighting in Gaza, and the ongoing war. But second because in spite of the prohibitions on greeting friends on that day, our house had a revolving door – people came and went all day long, from morning until very late at night to wish us farewell and bon voyage.

We left our door open, with a sign that said “Just Come In”. Friends, neighbors and some family came by, sat with us, talked to us, hugged us. The kids spent time with some of their friends, we tried to also get our last minute packing done, paperwork completed. It was a long day.

Frankly, I never imagined feeling so emotional. I knew I would be sad. I knew I would have a hard time saying goodbye to my friends. But I really didn’t expect to be at breaking point, to feel like there were no more tears, that I couldn’t possibly cry any more.

Don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to moving to Rehovot. I believe strongly that this move is necessary for our family, and will be the best thing for our children. But you don’t live some place for 13 years and have no connections.

A couple of friends came by Wednesday morning right before we got in the car, and they will attest to the fact that I was barely functioning. I’m not embarrassed by this, I’m an emotional person, and while I don’t often do public displays of emotion quite as explosive as last week, I do cry frequently about all kinds of random things.

You guys will probably be relieved to know that I had stopped crying almost completely, by the time we reached Fort Pierce… The tears started again when I began receiving emails from the people in Rehovot asking what we need in our apartment when we arrive – from mattresses to food – and telling us where we will be for meals for our first few shabbatot. But they were tears of joy, because clearly we are moving from one incredible community to another.

I’m not going to call out names, but there’s a few people back in Boca who deserve a very special thanks. I am actually quite flabbergasted at how I left my house. I cleaned out the fridge and the pantry, and obviously our furniture shipped a couple of weeks ago. But there was still so much stuff. Junk that we simply didn’t have time to get rid of. Things that we weren’t able to rehouse. And our friends, our wonderful, selfless friends, went back to our house after we left and took care of all that stuff. We didn’t ask them to. They just did it. And there are no words to thank them for that, because I can’t invite them for Friday night or Shabbat, or bake them challah or cinnamon bun cake right now. But you should know, that you all have an extra special place in our hearts, and that we really hope to host you in Israel some time soon.

Tomorrow is the big day. The kids are all finally sleeping. I know it will be a tough one for them. They are excited and scared and nervous and all kinds of other emotions rolled into one. And that’s okay. It would worry me more if they were just excited. I pray that our flight will be smooth (I hate flying) and that everyone will sleep, at least a little bit. I pray that we will land in a quiet country, with a full welcoming committee, and no welcoming fireworks, so to speak. I pray that my children will quickly grow to love Eretz Yisrael like we did, so many years ago, and will understand why it is so important to live there.

I will continue to blog, and hopefully have time to write about our road trip to NYC. Not sure how fast we will have an internet connection, but rest assured that as soon as we do, I’ll be back.

For now, au revoir, or L’hitraot, as they say where we are going.
To watch our arrival live, as we get off the plane and begin our new lives, tune into the website below starting around midnight tomorrow (Monday) night – 7am Israel time on Tuesday.

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