While I fully expected this to be a busy week, what I was not prepared for was the emotional roller coaster it would be as well. Today was a PERFECT example of this idea.
In the early part of the afternoon, I paid a visit to the Israel Aliya office here in Chicago. I met with Jackie (as Shira is still out and should have a refuah shlema!) to hand in a significant set of documents. While there is a TON of paperwork involved in making Aliya, the last piece of paperwork before Aliya is the applying for VISA's for resident status in Israel. The VISA application and all the documentation to put together for the application was really the last piece of paperwork on THIS end for me to do. When I handed in the applications, I was VERY emotional as it signified my official request for admission to the country as a resident. Yes, I had done all the other applications and steps before with Nefesh and with the Jewish Agency, but somehow, this was different. I felt SO proud to hand Jackie the forms. I told her that once the passports are back with the VISA's in them to call me. I will be over in a nano-second to get them (and that is if there is a lot of traffic!)
The other emotional moment that I was unprepared for came this afternoon and early in the evening. I was in the Shul office to finish off packing up the rest of my sefarim, books and files. As I packed away the files, I took a bit of a journey down memory lane. I was looking back at 10 years in the position of Rav...looking at marriage documents I wrote, settlement documents I worked on, dozens of cards and letters I had received over time, pictures, organizational work I had been involved in....All of this hit me right between the eyes and I found myself needing to sit down and stop for a few minutes. It was just to much for me...I don't know...I had no issues like this in packing up in the HOUSE but in the SHUL it was hitting me hard. It felt much more personal.
But now it is back to the grind of packing. The Office is almost done...just a few odds and ends left. The house is another story! But...we'll get there...
33 days, 12 hours and 12 minutes until we board the plane...TICK...TICK...TICK!