We arrive at Newark Airport, Sunday morning, December 13, 2009, the second day of Chanukah, 5770 years since the Creation of the World. It is 11:30 AM, one hour later than I had planned to arrive. I am sure we are disastrously late, but I say nothing of it, since I have become a fatalist. As Ava Gardner says in The Barefoot Contessa, The motto of my family is 'Que Sera Sera', whatever will be will be. Or I have finally become a true believer, All that happens is G-d's plan for the best for us, and we must thank Him for the good as well as the bad that befalls us, the bad being only an apparent evil. Now is not the time to cry out and shrei chai v'kayum but to leap forward and hope against all odds that the sea will split and we will pass through on dry land.
I jump out of the car into a cold rain with Spot. As usual, he is panicked by the trip in the car and goes off with me to take a satisfyingly large poop. I am pretty sure that without eating he will not need to go again until after we get to Israel. An earlier giant pish at Rachel's has wrung him out pretty well, so I have done what I can to make his coming 14 hour ordeal as easy as possible.
Despite the fact that we are only two hours from departure, there is no line at the ElAl counter. Usually the line is miles long with people going through rigorous security screening, large families of Chasidim, tourists and Israelis waiting on line for a ticket agent with bags overflowing everywhere. We walk right up to the ticket counter, present our passports and eTickets, weigh our baggage, and are ticketed and given boarding passes. Our strategy of over loading each of six allowed suitcases a little and bringing an extra seventh pays off. The ticket agent gives us a pass on our overweight bags and only charges us for our single extra. She doesn't even glance at our many carry-ons.
Spot will have to return an hour before boarding so a security agent can check out his kennel, after which he will be sent on his way, wherever that is in the bowels of the airport. I see another couple traveling with a dog who tell me they take their dog with them everywhere they travel, no problem not to worry. This sets my mind somewhat at ease.
The Finkels, Pam, Spot and I make our way down to the boarding gate level at Newark awaiting the time we will return to the counter so Spot and his kennel can be searched and boarded. (Damn those terrorists!)
And so, 3300 years after the Exodus from Egypt, 1,937 years after the Roman Second Exile, and 60 years after the modern founding of the State of Israel, we return to the Land of our Fathers and Mothers: Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah.
...us and our Little Dog Spot.
Returning from the Second Exile