The word Shalom has three meanings and all three apply at this moment. As we are just a few hours for leaving on the journey of our lives, I say SHALOM in the sense of "goodbye" to my community here in Chicago. It has been an amazing experience begin part of such a thriving and growing community. I will miss SO much about this city. Even as I type these words, people are pouring into my parents' home to say L'hitraot. It is soooo sad to see my kids saying goodbye to their closest friends. It is also so beautiful to watch at the same time.
I say SHALOM in the sense of "hello" to my NEW community and country: Maale Adumim and Israel. After standing on the sidelines for 50 years and watching my beloved country grow and change, we are finally going to become part of the future of Jewish History! It is an amazing feeling to know how close we are at this moment to realizing this dream.
I say SHALOM in the sense of "peace." We are going to a location that is one of the more volatile in the world, to say the least. We ALL pray for peace...we all pray for Shalom for Israel, its citizens and the Land.
So...this Shabbat...it certainly was emotion-filled. It began with my davening Friday night at the Adas. I haven't davened there in TEN years and it was so special that so many came over to me to inquire about my dad (see later in this post) and wish us well on our move.
Friday night, we ate at my sister's and had part of the family with us, as well. Needless to say that considering our MOVE and my dad's situation this past few days, it also was an emotion-packed evening.
After a well-needed sleep, I went to yet another shul...Bais Chaim Dovid. Again, so warmly welcomed and it was so different to be HERE in Chicago and daven in a different location!
Lunch...again at my sister's with more of the family and the saying of goodbye to them...Tears flowed freely...both tears of joy and tears of sadness. I told them all, that the fact that we all get along so well makes this parting that much more difficult!
Then came what I felt would be the MOST difficult moment of all...saying L'hitraot to my parents. First, let me back up. My dad is doing SO well, Baruch Hashem!!! He looks, sounds and feels (bli ayin hara) SO great! We walked to the hospital on Shabbat to bid farewell (for a few days until we have access to Skype!). My dad gave us some wonderful words of wisdom, and we all sat and talked for a while. When it came time to say goodbye, I told my dad that I THOUGHT that this would be the most difficult goodbye of all...but the truth is that this was the EASIEST goodbye of all...WHY? Because I could look at my dad and tell him directly to his eyes how much we love him and my mom. The fact that we came so close to losing him and then to have the opportunity to say goodbye to him sitting there looking so great...well, I can never thank Hashem enough for that opportunity!!! Saying goodbye (L'hitraot) to my mom was also difficult but again...at least thank G-d BOTH are healthy and able to travel to Israel...hopefully SOON!!
Well...I think that is it for now. Time to attempt to go to sleep and awake to a "brand new day." Tomorrow we start the next phase of our lives and pray to Hashem that while we KNOW things will not be easy...at least things will not be too hard.
Off to NY in 9 hours and 40 minutes...TICK...TICK...TICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!