Getting out of the house with a baby, toddler, and a husband is an intricate and delicate process that takes serious determination. Usually, by the time Little Homie is done nursing, The Girl is whiny and ready to go down for her nap. Or, my husband B. has a work-related crisis that can’t possibly wait another hour and a half. Or, I catch a glimpse of my sloppy self in the mirror and can’t face the outside world without spending at least 30 minutes primping.
But, last week, we had a Very Important Meeting with Shlomo the Shaliach. (People making aliyah to Israel are usually assigned a representative from the Jewish Agency to help them through the process.)
See, unbeknownst to me, moving to Israel is a little more complicated than just hopping on an El Al flight in LA and arriving at Ben Gurion airport and shouting “I am a Jew! Gather me to your bosom, O Israel! I wish to return to the Holy Land!”
Still, while there is some red tape to negotiate, the process should only take a few months. But, because B. and I are notoriously disorganized, it’s taken us a bit longer. The good news is we’re finally getting it together, and we were ready to hand over the stories of our lives on paper (our marriage and birth certificates all affixed with the appropriate apostiles, our passports, medical histories, proof of Jewishness, etc….) to Shlomo the Shaliach.
We arranged an appointment with him for the day of erev Rosh Hashana. Through sheer force of will we got to Shlomo the Shaliach’s office on time. We pushed our spaceship of a double stroller through security. Shlomo the Shaliach was late. I sighed and glanced meaningfully at the clock. (“He’s running on Israeli standard time. Better get used to it” another shaliach in the office laughed.)
Ten minutes later, Shlomo the Shaliach arrived in a flurry of apologies, and a plate brimming with apples and honey to welcome the New Year. And as I felt my annoyance slacken, I smiled. We all gathered in the small corner office, facing East toward Downtown, toward the mountains, and toward Jerusalem, and dipping the crisp apples in the sticky honey, we feasted, savoring the sweet moment.