A story by: Evelyn Marshak | Added: 2012
Flying overseas always produces mixed emotions in me. Some of the fear revolves around my passport. I check again to see if I have it. I do. If it were back home in Connecticut, it is too late to return home and retrieve it. Do I have the drops for my dry eyes? Yes. I only packed three bottles to make sure I’d have enough even though I know it will be available in Jerusalem. Then there is the nail biting routine. Will my luggage be overweight? It wasn’t. Will I get the requested aisle seat? I did. Will the Israeli inspectors really take my bottle of water from me? They threatened but didn’t. There was a little break in the tension when I passed the TSA man carrying my sister’s passport. The TSA man said we looked very much alike. My 7 year old grandson asked how that could be since I had gray hair and my sister has dark hair. Should we have flown El Al because the Israeli airline uses soldiers as stewards and hasn’t had a skyjacking incident in all the years the airline has been flying? But then we saved a few hundred dollars by flying Delta. The flight seems to be taking forever. While the reality is the flight will arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv a little ahead of schedule, it seems like we have been in the air for more than 10 hours. Were you actually? We land. We schlep our suitcases for thousands of meters and we finally clear passport control and walk toward the exit. Will my nephew and niece come to drive us to Jerusalem? Will they be able to find us in the crowd? He was 12 when we saw him last? I cannot remember if we saw them first or they saw us first but we met and so much of the tension seemed to melt away immediately. Chava, my niece, someone I had never met, and I seem to have known each other for years and we talk easily. My nephew takes control of my suitcase and suddenly we are home. Yes, home in Israel. I cannot recite the long history of when the Romans drove the Jews out of their homeland. Eventually my ancestors landed in the Minsk area of Russia. Years later, my grandparents migrated to the United States, the goldene medina , or the promised land. Settling in Israel was not an option for them but now two of their granddaughters had returned although just for a visit.