There has been one aspect of the Exodus from Chicago that I have not been looking forward to and that is the saying of goodbye to close friends and family. Tonight that process began. There was a family BBQ for both sides of our families to wish us well and say L'Hitraot. It was difficult to say goodbye to many, ESPECIALLY considering that it is quite possible that unless they come to visit in Israel, we may never see each other again. THAT is a sobering thought..one that makes this move more "tactile." Then, since my brother and sister-in-law are leaving town tomorrow, we had to say our goodbyes tonight. NOT AN EASY FETE!!! It was NOT real...we are not leaving...I am not saying goodbye because I refuse to say the word "goodbye." I merely say L'hitraot, au revoir, till we see each other again. And seeing each other again, at least in a pixellated form via Skype, can happen fairly soon.
We are told that the Land of Israel is acquired with tests/trials and tribulations. We tend to think of those tests occurring IN ISRAEL...not true! These tests begin BEFORE YOU EVEN LEAVE CHUTZ LA"ARETZ...and we are going through those tests now. These are not tests that you can study for and no one can prepare you for these emotional last few days. BUT, I will say that I am very glad that we will not have to go through the entire goodbye "scene" in NY, as we do not have relatives there to come to the airport. It is tough enough doing that HERE.
Time for sleep...time to get ready for our last few days in the house. Is this really about to happen? Are we really about to head out and begin that journey to Israel, our historical and spiritual home?
I just hope we can pass all the tests that we will be taking...
Countdown: 6 days, 10 hours and 33 minutes...TICK...TICK...TICK!!!