Friday, July 16, 2004

Shabbat Shalom (Update 2)

Wanted to wish everyone a shabbat Shalom as we headinto our first Shabbat here. We've heard that therewas much press around our arrival - but it's quitefunny for us. Although we've lived through it - we'veseen virtually none of the write ups! It has been anamazing few days, however. I know josh filled most ofyou in already...just a few additions.The plane was hysterical. I've never seen more checkedstrollers, more children, dog carriers, and luggage inmy life. The plane, as you can imagine, was quite loudand fun. The Rabbi who created this whole program,Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, was throwing food out at peopleand walking through the rows. He started the flightwith the Shechechianu - how often do you hear that on aflight? Matan slept a lot - Yehuda not at all. Thedog in front of us escaped from its carrier andeveryone cracked up when a stern voice came over theplane saying, "Will the people with the black dogplease come get him - he just peed in the kitchen." The best part was the landing. They handed out hatsabout 45 minutes before landing and everyone started toget very excited and to look for land. We kept saying,"do you see it yet? Do you see it yet?" And when wefinally did there was a huge roar from the plane. Andthen many screams and claps and tears as we acuallylanged. I felt, as we got off the plane, that we werepart of a movie prop for a Nefesh B'Nefeshadvertisement. We had seen the pictures and videos somany times - it was very weird to be acting out what wehad seen. I exited and had to wait at the top of theplane for Matan and Jsoh and I was carrying two bagsand Yehuda. Someone came up and asked me if he couldhelp - turns out it was the El Al President!!! We allwalked down the plank together with Josh and Matancarrying a huge Israeli flag. You could look out andsee hundreds of people who had waited for hours to seeus all and there were a hundred soldiers clapping andgreeting us. Matan kept giving high fives to thesoldiers and actually (as Josh mentioned) climbed intoa soldier's arms and literally wouldn't get out of hisarms. He was so enamored. Our friends were there togreet us and then the radio station we have beeninterviewing with each week noticed us and put josh onthe radio.The presentations in the hanger were interesting -although we were so hot and tired! Itay said that thehanger we landed in front of was so significant becuaseit's where Isarel has started and ended many militaryactions including Entebbe. He was quite choked up andit was neat to see that we had actually made adifference in the life of an Israeli. I number ofpoeple have thanked us for coming and showered us withcompliments - for giving up so much to come and make adifference here.So - that's our story. We have been welcomed with manymany dinners and cakes. We've met a lot of people -i'm definiely overwhelmed with names and people. Wehave meals arranged until at least next Wednesday. Wehave taken it easy these two days adn need to start onthe beaurocracy on Sunday....one day at a time.We are attaching pictures that Itay took at ourlanding. Hope you can open it and enjoy! We hope to haveour own phone and cell phones sometime next week. We'dlove to hear from anyone - and we are thinking of you!love, Romi and Josh

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