WOWWOWOW. Can't believe we're really here.....I've got to hand it to Nefesh B'Nefesh--they put such an incredible amount of work into making this process as smooth as possible. While I don't think shlepping one's family overseas can ever be "easy", I so greatly appreciate the lengths NBN went to in trying to make it as easy as possible.
|Ilana very happy after seeing "the balloon guy" in NY|
|getting on the plane!!!!!|
Anyway, back to leaving NY:
Jen and Shmulie greatly delayed going to work to take us to the airport (did I mention what great cousins I have?!) and Jen and Coby stayed for the whole farewell ceremony.
|dynamic duo Lego lovin' cousins|
I need to back up here and mention a very special person--Jen's "like a sister", Temima. She has been beyond welcoming and helpful. Temima lives in NY now and the rest of her family lives in Israel, having made Aliyah when Temima was 8. Not only did we have Shabbos lunch together.....not only did she invite us to a very small family gathering for her super adorable son's first birthday on Sunday.....but her family in Israel came to meet us at the airport, which included ARRIVING at 7 a.m. with small children (and that's after driving several hours from the north).
I am, was, and will, for the rest of my life, continue to be touched to the very core of my being at this display of kindness for absolute strangers.....Having no family at all here (I sometimes feel like the only Jew who can say that, although I know that's not true) made it even more special to be met by people here.
|Temima's family on the back right side with the handmade sign|
Temima's family patiently waited and waited.....and then waited some more because we somehow managed to be the last people off the last bus from the plane! In back of us were the NBN staffers and soldiers dancing everyone into the building!!!!
Of course, the good part about this is that we walked into the building as they were just about to start the ceremony welcoming all the new olim :). (The bad part is that, while there were tasty snacks out, the frozen coffee drink machine was already out of goods. May it be the hardest part of our day, right?!)
|Ilana very happy after seeing "the balloon guy" in Israel :)|
After a good, long nap, we had a wonderful dinner at Agas V'tapuach (Pear and Apple), the oldest Italian restaurant in Jerusalem. The owner came out and talked with us and gave us wine when he found out we had arrived this morning. Another customer wished us mazal tov and, in broken English when he saw my "deer in headlights" look when he started speaking Hebrew, told me how happy it made him that we had made Aliyah and it was a very beautiful thing we had done :)
I can't believe I am holding a "Teudat Oleh" (Certificate of Immigration) in my hand.
And so happy that our blog name is finally accurate!!!!!!