Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Home Bittersweet Home

Well, we're back from Israel. I've been largely incommunicado because, well, surprise surprise I'm ill. It started with a bout of nausea motzei Shabbos (Tuvia went for falafel at Moshiko on Ben Yehuda Street, and I went to bed), and it culminated with a temperature drop (I don't get fevers, I drop in temperature), chills, and a horrible headache yesterday. I went to bed yesterday at 4 p.m., woke up at 8:30 p.m. for some soup, and then went back to bed until 7 a.m. this morning. I'm feeling better, sort of, but the nausea is killing me. No, I'm not preggo. Don't even ask.

Our last major adventure in Israel was a trip to Hevron and Kever Rachel. Here's a view from the טיילת.

Leaving Israel was bittersweet, but because I wasn't feeling well I was ready to just get home to my bed and my stuff in my house. Traveling is hard, it's fun, but it's hard. Living out of suitcases and being without your favorite toiletries is just rough. It is. Being in Jerusalem and Israel all over was beautiful and exciting and riveting and ... yes, I was elated to be there, to feel the feeling of being a Jerusalemite for 10 days, but there's something about being home. Being in the U.S.

I know what you're thinking: But Chaviva! You want so much to move to Israel! To make aliyah, right?

It's funny, and you all will find this shocking, but this trip didn't sing to me like ones in the past did. Yes, it was nice to hang out with gobs of awesome Twitter olim and seeing family who are living in and loving Israel. But the trip was frustrating for me. I'll admit it's probably because of the language frustration -- being almost there, but not fluent. Or it might have been the weather and the idea of losing winter if we ever moved to Israel. Not having the normal stores with the normal stuff, too, was frustrating. And, of course, the water giving me stomach aches was no fun (this was my third trip and the water never bothered me before). But there was something about this trip that made me ask myself, "Could you really do this?"

Don't get your panties in a twist just yet. I'm just saying there was something about this trip that didn't hit me right. And it might just be that I'm grumpy and sick and have nearly 40 pages to write by Wednesday ... but something gave me pause. Caution. And it's a scary feeling. Knowing that my neshama and heart are in Jerusalem and that my brain and body are wondering "hrm ..." is frustrating.

At any rate, Happy Chanukah, this time from New Jersey.