The only word I can come up with for our first one-day Chag in Israel is: "INCREDIBLE!!!!!!" I can not fully explain in writing how this Chag felt. I will say that:
* The feeling of walking around the neighborhood and seeing hundreds of Sukkot and hearing singing and watching all of the people visiting other peoples' Sukkot, well...Dayenu!
* The sounds of hundreds of people davening on Friday night, singing in unison and on Shabbat/Chag morning, singing in unison and the overall feeling of elation of the mood of Sukkot, well...Dayenu!
* The delicious meals that we were treated to at other peoples' homes both at night and by day, and the excellent company, well...Dayenu!
* The Seudah Shlisheet with about 40 new and not-so-new friends at a nearby Sukka and the Zechut of saying a Dvar Torah in their Sukka, well...Dayenu!
* But the ultimate for ME has to have occurred at 5:58pm tonight. But first a bit of background...I have known for years, that we would be making Aliya. Back in 2006, I bought a set of Machzorim for use in Israel for the Chagim. I put a note inside the Machzor for Sukkot that read, " I bought this set of Machzorim in August 2006, to be used on Sukkot when we make Aliya (IYH) in summer of 2009. Chag Sameach!" I looked at that note, as I opened my Machzor on Friday night, and I was overcome with emotion. I was fulfilling that dream! And a part of that dream was to live the Israeli life, which meant only having a one-day Chag. And at 5:58pm tonight, we made Havdala and ended the Chag and began Chol HaMoed. It was a very emotional moment for me, as I felt my klitah (absorption) into Israel that much more acutely. And for that I truly say...DAYENU!
And now the FULL week of Chol HaMoed begins. We will be in J'lem tomorrow, and I look forward to many get-togethers this coming week.
From Maale Adumim, Mitzpe Nevo neighborhood, I wish you and your's a joyous Sukkot and a wonderful Chol HaMoed!