I bought my plane tickets for Israel today ☺️😳
The fact is I don’t yet have permission to enter the country. Covid and all.
My guardian angel (and exceedingly practical) friend encouraged me to wait till covid passed before trying to plan this trip. Of course I didn’t listen. I’ve been planning since August 2020 and been sort of on standby since December ready to go any day now.
Now it’s edging to May 2021 and I’m still in the U.S. My bags are packed, taxes done, doctor check ups completed, vaccinated, house kashered (not a travel requirement but will be returning to a kosher home!), and more.
I was just about to give this travel adventure up for the foreseeable future when my head exploded. Well first I got some “new” news, then my head exploded. A friend in a similar situation just got permission to enter the country. No boring details, but we both have circumstances that could qualify us. The kicker is…she told me what she did. What I would need to do. 😬😮🥺😬😲🥴🤮
Well it’s really not that bad. But when I first heard the administrative list, I became so overwhelmed I forgot my zip code during one of my tasks.
To give you a sample, I had to: buy airline tickets (without knowing if I could use them), find and report a place in Israel to quarantine (try that on for size when the hotels and airbnbs were telling me I can’t!), buy and supply proof of Israeli health insurance covering covid, gather and supply original birth certificates (the ones with the raised seals!), contact Vital Records for other “raised seal” documents that I needed, request the State Health Department send my formal vaccine records, yada, yada, yada and MUCH more. Add to that I have not been able to get through to any of the organizations who make the decisions to ask questions or even find out where to send all the data once it’s collected! Oh, and do you think it’s easy getting a wonderful 21-year-old son to scan information to me from overseas (he’s in Israel), especially when he is the last twenty-something on the planet that still uses a flip phone!
I am SO organized now. 😏😏😏
I want to post a huge brag face because I feel so proud of myself just being able to list these things out for you!
You see, I am diagnosed ADD, you know, attention deficit disorder and back in the day, I even found filling out my children’s elementary school health forms overwhelming!
When I first hung up with my wonderful friend, I felt my head exploding and that I would (sorry) throw up. 🥴
Another lovely friend, upon hearing my woeful overwhelm tale kindly suggested that I don’t have to go. She said I can just put this all to bed, just not do it, and…
I can’t even finish the sentence.
That was a non-starter for me. I appreciated her suggestion, and it helped me scrunch up my addled mind and sputter that of course I would stumble through this… This trip was precious to me, for so many reasons, with the crowning jewel to see my son in Israel.
I would just do what I think organized people do. Tackle things one by one, and write a list.
Skipping ahead through all the mind numbing fits and starts, I’m done! I bought my plane tickets, found a wonderful place to quarantine, gathered the reams of documentation, and SENT IT ALL IN!!!!
Now I am waiting on an answer which could be yes, no or maybe…. But I feel amazing! I truly feel now (until the next hoop comes along), that it will work out exactly how it’s supposed to.
I did my part, which I feel I am always called upon to do, and the rest is up to G-d. It’s not even my business to know what’s the best outcome. Now I’ll sit back (at least until I get word that more difficult to find documentation is needed). I actually made it over to sit on the beach for several hours after being holed up for five days in a little beach trailer (another story)!
There’s one more jewel.
My plan all along had been to go to Israel for several months and have a “live-there” experience. Relax into the cadence of another country, study Judaism, of course eat lots of falafel and sabich, and revel in Jerusalem, the Old City, Tel Aviv, Safed, the shuk, and wherever else I go.
But something unexpected happened. Somewhere along the line I decided I will become Shomer Shabbos. I want to observe the Jewish laws associated with Shabbat. Having grown up not knowing what the heck Shomer Shabbos even is and living in this wonderfully active world of internet, shopping and driving every day, this is a VERY DIFFICULT change.
I’d make the change in ISRAEL! Much easier.
Booking the airline tickets, it turned out Friday and Saturday made the most sense for my travel.
SHABBAT. 👀 👀
Weeell… I’m not Shomer YET! I’ll start when I get there! Like a good diet, eat all the pasta, ice cream, french fries (my favorites) BEFORE the diet starts because soon enough they’ll be off limits. Plan my flight with no worry over any little Jewish mitzvah now, because soon enough I’ll be making the big change…Back and forth…it ricocheted around my mind like a sharpshooter’s pool game.
It just didn’t feel right. Aaannnd…
I made the decision.
I’ll fly BEFORE or AFTER Shabbos. I booked my flight for Wednesday arriving Thursday! I am so happy! No flying on Shabbos.
I heard myself telling my friend- “It’s like Israel is inside me now.” Of course I still want to go… but I realized I’d rather have “Israel inside me” not in Israel, than fly TO Israel on Shabbat.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still fixing to go. I got my tickets and my tambourine’s by the door. ©
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For fun, here’s The Big Lebowski Shomer Shabbos scene on Youtube