Sunday, January 07, 2007
I was never a fan of the cold. I'm one of those people who dread cold nights, wear socks to sleep, and clutch their blue nose in an effort to keep it warm. But this year, the colder the weather got, the closer it brought me to Israel. And finally, finally, I made it. It's sad, though -no longer could lovers of the Land step off the airplane and kiss the black tarmac, but kissing the carpeted floor of the airport terminal does accomplish the same objective. Reverence and love. Don't get me wrong, I didn't stoop down in front of the line of weary travelers anxious to get off the plane after ten hours of turbulence and crying babies. I didn't press my lips to the dirty floor and utter a bracha of joy in my return. But not because I wouldn't have liked to. So as I walked away from that claustrophobic airplane where I slept possibly a half-an-hour altogether, I drank in the sights and sounds of Israel. Hebrew! Bruchim Habaim! Israeli advertisements! Frum people! Rabbis! Ice coffees! It was all so familiar and yet so strange. It was so, so, so good to be home again. I was thisclose to crying out loud just walking from the terminal to collect my suitcase. I sorta did, but I wiped my tears away and hurried to get to Yerushalyim, where I would stay for the next two weeks and learn. That's why I came. To rekindle my seminary girl side -although with less picture taking and much less squealing -and learn Torah, pure beautiful Torah, instead of the mundane and oddly much less practical Law. Out with the Contracts and Civil Procedure, in with the Rambam and the Maharal.
When I arrived in Yerushalyim via sheirut, I dropped off my luggage, washed my face, changed into warmer clothing and caught the next cab to the kotel. No buses for me, I wanted to go in style. Of course, the "style" cost me more than fifty shekels, but it was worth it. It was a cold and clear day, warmer in the shining sun, and the women's section was packed. I didn't bother getting a spot by the Wall, which I usually don't require anyway, since it's not the stones I'm praying to but to Hashem. It would have been nice to stroke the tear-washed stones and reflect on the infinite prayers that have been shed there for so long...but I saved that for a later trip. This trip was to bask in the holiness of Yerushalyim, so close to Har Habayis but still so far, reveling in my return to my homeland, mourning the fact that we haven't all been granted the true return since I last stood in that spot. I prayed for all those I know and love and for myself, that I should find, meet marry my zivug hagon...as I'm sure you'll admit is an understandable plea. I cried, and there's more, but it was a private time, between me and Hashem, so excuse me for keeping you a little in the dark. The next day, I attended my first class, and since then, I've attended many others. What a juxtaposition! From law school to Law school. Amazing... And I truly could just go on and on, how the few pieces of Torah I've managed to grasp while I'm here have been as sweet life-giving water to one dying of thirst in the arid desert, how that Torah is so indescribably beautiful, it can make a believer out of me if I didn't already believe, how so much Hashgacha Pratis has been revealed to me here -it's as if the blinders of teva have been lifted from my eyes.
I could go on and on. And I will...just not here, not right now. I just want to say that I am so undeniably blessed to be given this opportunity. To rekindle my flame. To live in this true, real, idealistic Torah world once more. I never, ever want to leave.
Thank you Hashem, thank You. Thank You.
Posted by Lee at 1/07/2007 08:01:00 AM