We just arrived in Israel yesterday morning, after 24-hours of relatively stress-free travel, thank Gd. On the plane, I realized that I was feeling some anxiety about coming back to Israel. In America, I so long for this place. But sometimes, memory can cloud reality. I was worried that, when I got here, I would be disappointed because it wouldn't be as meaningful to me to be here in reality as it is in my head, in my heart and in my soul when I am outside the Land.
I make myself laugh.
It's ten times more wonderful here than I remember. And I'm saying that even though pretty much all we did on Day One was unpack, nap (okay, it was for seven hours), grab some pizza and shop for groceries. We spent a few hours later in the day with my brother who lives just up the street. He has grown to a whole other level in his relationship with Hashem since we were here just a few months ago. Even his Hebrew is getting better.
My wonderful, supportive, loving husband stayed up with me until 2 AM watching the Nefesh b'Nefesh video of yesterday's Welcoming Ceremony.
We had friends on that flight but couldn't be there to welcome them because we were landing in Israel ourselves at the same time. Watching the video while tears ran down my cheeks, I felt so proud to be part of this people who come out by the hundreds to clap and cheer and wave flags and welcome their family Home. I mean, who else does that?!