I was at a girlfriend’s house when I received the phone call. Everything went through and the trip to Israel was in the first stages. I put the phone down in amazement. Was this going to actually happen, really happen? My friend came out from her bedroom into the kitchen where I was.
“So, Philly, what’s happening? Did it go through?” she asked.
I was so dumbfounded.
“Yes”, I answered half in a daze.
“Oh, my goodness! I am so happy for you!” She squealed as she grabbed me a squeezed me so hard.
Typical for me, I began to cry and laugh at the same time.
“Baruch Hashem!” I cried. It was all I could say and it seemed that was all that there was to say.
Being good chasiditehs we began to twirl around the kitchen screaming and singing with absolute joy!
The reality of it all really had not sunk in. It all seemed to be happening so fast. Could Abba be really answering my prayers? Why in the world was I so shocked anyway? All I knew was a couple of days prior I had been told I needed to be in Israel with the children for Pesach. I replied in full agreement that it was a wonderful idea. But Hashem was going to have to do that. Little did I know how well He was going to do it. Within a couple of weeks I had finances out of the blue and the tickets ordered for both my youngest and I. It did not suit for my beloved to join us because of work issues and strangely enough all the finances that were provided were for just the two of us.
After my initial elation I began to plan. We did not have passports, household issues had to be in order, my beloved had to be taken care of, etc. Thankfully everything seemed to fall right into place. As I knew that this whole trip was planned and executed by the Almighty One, I stepped very cautiously. I felt like each step I took was on holy ground so I did not do a whole lot of talking about the trip, not even to my family. In fact the only ones who knew anything were those few people who were helping me in the planning. When I finally told my oldest daughter about the trip she cried with such relief. She had been so terribly homesick and was begging Hashem herself to send me to Israel to comfort her and ease her time! Truly Abba is the Compassionate One.
I have to admit that in spite of the obvious miracle this was, I was a still a little afraid it would not actually happen. I certainly did not want to provoke ayin hara :::poo, poo, poo::: so I didn't talk too much about it and when I did I was careful to always say, "b'ezrat Hashem". I was also reminded that Rebbe Nachman teaches there are MANY obstacles to getting to the Holy Land, so that also provoked me to much prayer. As each thing did come to fruition, (i.e. tickets and passports arriving, getting the luggage together, packing) and the day getting closer I began to pray even harder and speak a little more about it. I had to after all, there were sederim and meals to arrange for my beloved. I certainly could not leave him starving here! My community was amazing and once people knew I was going there were offers everywhere. I had to even set up a little itinerary for him to let him know whose home he was going to when. I also had to get my house ready for Pesach and shop before I left since my beloved was going to be here and we would be returning to the US for the last days of the holiday.
Finally, with everything all together and arranged, house pesachdik, meals done, my daughter and I packed and with passports and tickets in hand left with another friend to JFK airport.
I have a question. Or three.
10 months ago