By Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried
I recently returned from a trip to Israel and am still trying to catch my breath.
As usual, the short (eight days) time I spent there was a whirlwind of activity, as I attempted to get months worth of visiting and work completed in the space of about a week.
It usually leads to a roller-coaster of emotions; from the most joyous experiences to the saddest ones.
From the joy of seeing my kids and granddaughter … to the sadness the next morning of joining my mentor’s children (all leading sages) at his gravesite for the yahrzeit.
From enjoying a warm get-together of Dallas families now living in Israel, to praying at my personal rebbe’s bedside to be delivered from his coma.
From spending time with my family in Petach Tikvah, to praying in the ICU in Shaare Tzedek hospital, between two of the leading sages of the generation who were in critical condition, (one passed while I was flying back home that day).
It was especially rewarding to spend time with many young couples and families from Dallas that are now living in Israel, especially the ones who myself and the DATA rabbis were able to help move there.
It was wonderful seeing how happy and well-adjusted they were, despite the challenges. A get-together of those families took place at my daughter’s apartment.
Another highlight was studying with my twin boys at their respective yeshivos in Jerusalem and Beit Meir, seeing how happy they were and hearing how well they’re doing.
It was a very special Shabbos in my old stomping grounds of Bayit Vegan; to be with my mother-in-law and brothers-in-law as well as my children and granddaughter. The holiness of that neighborhood on Shabbos is so palpable you can almost cut it with a knife!
May we all merit spending special times in Israel!
Rabbi Yerachmiel D. Fried, noted scholar and author of numerous works on Jewish law, philosophy and Talmud, is founder and dean of DATA, the Dallas Kollel. Questions can be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.