Monday, July 27, 2009

The Holy Land

Why did we even go to Israel?

I am very grateful for the fact that we went to Israel, however, it was not originally in our plans. And honestly, I sort of could have done without it at this juncture in time.

The last time we were there was summer 2007. The timing was perfect, our trip fell perfectly during those two weeks between the end of school and the beginning of camp. And it was being planned almost a year in advance. There were TWO nephews becoming Bar-Mitzvah (the age of 13 when a Jewish boy is responsible for his religious actions and gets called to read from the "Torah" {Old Testament}) and it was also my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I have 4 siblings who live in Israel already, and 3 of us are here in America. I also, was sort of missing my siblings at the time. However, after about five minutes with them, I am over that. My parents thought it was a great opportunity for ALL of us to be together, and this makes my Mom happy. So we went.

The first weekend we were all in Har Nof - a neighborhood in Jerusalem, where my parents have a second home. But while I stayed there, some of us who do not live there were spread out amongst other homes. The second weekend we all chartered a bus to a p
lace up north called "Kibbutz Levy". It is essentially, a hotel - on a farm. It was an amazing experience.

Honestly, that experience two years ago would have been enough to tie me over for way more than two years. I know there are people reading this who would give their right arm to go to Israel with the whole family, and maybe think, I am not appreciative of how often I have been there. It is not that I did not want to go this time arou
nd, it's just the timing was a bit difficult.

This trip was originally thought of months and months ago. But, in the mix of planning to maybe go, my Dad was dealing with some unexpected foot pain. My niece got married in Israel at the end of May, and my Dad went in for that, and was not sure when he would have time between that trip and this trip that was scheduled around a Bar Mitzvah (which is dictated by the actual birthday of the child - so the date wa
s written in stone) to have surgery and recover. The first Doctor he went to, said the procedure would be very invasive and recovery would be 8 weeks - which meant, my Dad would skip the Bar Mitzvah over the wedding and therefor, we would all NOT be going. But then at the last moment, my Dad went to a different doctor who offered a less invasive procedure and less recovery time - so the trip was back on.

It was all rush, rush. I had already enr
olled, and paid for a full summer of camp for three kids, and now they would miss ten days. I just had a baby and had to rush to get passports. I was busy with a newborn, and had to find time to acquire things that were needed for this trip. My husband kept going out of town, because he is working diligently on a new product line for his business, and had to get it in before the trip. And, furthermore - if we could have gone to Israel at a different time, we could have made it into a REAL trip, extending our stay for 3 weeks. But, due to the business Hun is currently deep in the middle of, we could only stay the minimal 10 days.

My Mom also wanted all of us together, because we would be celebrating my Dad's 80th year of life (Thank the Good Lord - He should Live through 120).

So, we did not choose the timing. I did not miss my siblings enough, yet. And we went to complete the function of h
aving the ENTIRE family together, not reluctantly, just, not with breathless anticipation either.

Hun and I also made the decision ahead of time, to spend our time in Israel wisely, focusing on treating our kids to a VIEW of the country as opposed to visiting TONS of relatives and friends that we each have there.

(Hun was born in Israel and his Father's entire family still lives there.)

So we arrived Thursday, late afternoon and got in a Taxi called a "Shey-root", and high tailed it Israeli style to Har Nof.

My parents (who live in Chicago) have a lovely apartment. It is not large, but the space is definitely maximized. (Did I ev
er tell you that my Mom is an Architectural Interior Designer, or "space planner"?) My Mom designed the apartment herself. My brother D. (who is single) lives there on a regular basis. The apartment has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It has a den with a pull out sleeper sofa. It has a lovely living room with another couch. There is also the dining area, eat-in kitchen, and a small laundry room. And of course, there is a porch called a "mirpeset".

My parents have their master bedroom. My brother's room was taken over by my sister from NJ and Ate. Hun, myself and Bam in the lovely pack n' play I brought in from America were in the third room. The girls were in the den on the Sleeper Sofa. And my brother D. took to the couch in the living room. It really worked out well. My brot
her from Chicago, his wife and three kids stayed at my sister's home, which is two buildings down the street. I also have another brother with 12 children who lives downstairs in the same building as my parents, but trust me - even you would not want to stay there. Everyone in my family was pretty much in a 1 block radius, except another sister and her family of 9 who live about 45 minutes away in a town called "B'nai Brak". But she came for the weekend, and somehow found somewhere to stuff her family.

Every time we come to Israel, the day following our arrival is usually a complete loss, because we are tired, unpacking, and ironing clothing. I swore this time, I would get everything done Thursday night, so we could get out for part of Friday. Of course, this did not happen. We got a start later than expected on Friday, so w
e were limited, but we did get out.

I will have more on that in the next post.

My parents had gone to Israel before we arrived, so they were already in the apartment when we got there. By the
way my Dad greeted us, you would think he lived there on a regular basis and had not seen us in years. He especially seemed to enjoy Bam's arrival. My Dad is a "beamer". It's the way he smiles. (Ate smiles just like him and we call Ate a "beamer" as well.) Dad was beaming, and because we were the last to arrive to Israel, i think it was his pride and joy in knowing that his family was finally ALL together again.

Dad and Bam "Moonbathing" on the Mirpeset (porch)

6 have shown Orah a little love:

elisha said...

well, timing is everything!! I am impressed that you got everything done having just had a baby. I couldn't even get myself to Milwaukee 3 weeks after having M! glad you had a good time!

adinab said...

i didn't know you stayed at kibbutz lavi! the family that runs the hotel there are old family friends of my parents/grsandparents (former chicagoans!) we've been there a few times too. did you go visit the cows?

Barak said...

Mazal tov! You can find great bar mitzvah gifts on our site.

Anonymous said...

It's really amazing that you ALL got together in the Holy Land to mark 2 incredible milestones!!
The timing may have been difficult but I'm sure the memories and experiences were well worth it!!

-Miss S.

adinab said...

wow. shaindy. that was so nice and sincere. said...

Awe, grandpa is beaming.

That sounds like quite a trip! That was so wonderful of you to honor your parents and help complete their expectations.

You are a wonderful daughter!