Aliyah Journal: T-94 days and counting

I put a little countdown calendar in my Outlook calendar. I’m not yet sure if it’s a good idea – I don’t know whether it’s more exciting, or more nerve-racking to get a daily reminder of how many days are left until we get on an airplane and move to Israel.

But the calendar tells me that God willing, if all goes according to plan, in just 94 days we’ll be on our way. Not surprisingly, the closer it gets more real it feels. Our house is all fixed up, cleaned up, and it’s on the market. What really gave me a feeling of having passed a certain point of no return was when the synagogue announced that they have hired my replacement. Whatever happens, in a few more months I’ll be out of work – or at least I’ll be out of this particular job.

The feeling is both exhilarating and scary. We’re on our way to turning our dreams into reality: but what if our house here doesn’t sell, what if there are problems with the bureaucracy, what if our work plans don’t pan out? What if the kids have trouble adapting to life in Israel? Isn’t it going to be hard not seeing our family in the States as often? But, the excitement outweighs the worries, and Lauri and I are both competent and capable and our kids are bright so I’m sure we will find a way to overcome any of the inevitable difficulties that we’ll encounter.

I’ve decided to sell my baby grand piano and buy a nice upright which will more easily fit into an Israeli apartment. We had decided to bring our minivan, but now we’re waffling and thinking we might want a car that is less expensive, smaller and easier to park, and less expensive to insure and operate than our large American sized minivan. In the meanwhile, are working on the next significant piece of paperwork, which is the official aliyah visa for our passports. Supposedly it only takes a couple of weeks. We’ll see.

It definitely felt different at our Seder this year when we said l’shana ha’ba’ah birushalayim, next year in Jerusalem. This time we meant it!

Moadim l’simcha!

Reb Barry

Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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