I am almost done with all of my preparations. I'm looking at two fully packed bags, minus a couple of things that need to be tossed into them, a packed, tightened and locked guitar and a half packed backpack with items scattered around my bedroom that I will undoubtedly be tossing into my backpack at the last minute. Who could expect anything different from me.
But what is sinking in is that when I wake up, I will be almost 24 hours from leaving the United States of America for almost a year and be started on my way to becoming a rabbi. Today, my roommate got to our apartment in Jerusalem and through the brilliance of Skype (feel free to skype me at BNels2422) I got a quick tour of the apartment. Let me just say that it is well worth the rent we are paying for it.
It's strange though, I know I'm leaving. I have been anxiously awaiting this moment for the last four years when I decided this just may be my path in life. I have been excited about this moment for three years when I found out that my first year is in Jerusalem and that I was sure this was the path for my life. For the preceding two years, by the grace of my parents, I have been able to live at home and do youth work, building my resume and continuing to study so that in 37 hours, I will be sitting on a plane ready to take off to go back to Israel. It all leads up to this moment when I will really feel like I am on my way.
I have been rationing KFAN Podcasts this week so I have some good ones to listen too. No doubt that after the Twins game tomorrow there should be some good anger floating from the airwaves of 1130 AM in Minneapolis. I have some school reading and some enjoyment reading ready to be had on the flight. I also put some great movies on my computer and on my external hard drive so I will have plenty to listen to watch, listen to and read as well.
The past two weeks have been great. I have spent some time with great friends and family. My cousin got married, my sister announced that she is pregnant (due in January) I got to eat at some great restaurants, I finished the services I have been working on for Camp TEKO, saw my cousin play some soccer (watching 4 year-olds chase a ball around the field was really cute), went for a great bike ride out to Lake Minnetonka, found out that I will be making guest appearances on the website TCJewfolk about a rabbinic school (you will be alerted to posts coming on that site) and so much more that I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention. The last two weeks have been great, but I also cannot wait to get to Jerusalem.
There is still something that is missing though. I am really going to miss Kaitlin and my family. I have never gone for more than a few weeks without seeing Kaitlin and I have never lived further from Minnetonka than a 15 minute drive. I wouldn't say I'm nervous about it at all, but there are things that I know I will miss. The common thing I keep coming back to is that I will be in Israel. For those of you that have been, you know what I'm talking about. For those that have not, there aren't many words that can do it justice. The place somehow just grips you and doesn't want you to leave. I continue to console my worries with the fact that I will be in Jerusalem and that I will finally be on my way to becoming a rabbi.
I'm merely rambling at this point and I really should get some sleep tonight. I have one long 30 hour day until liftoff from MSP International Airport. I will not be making another post until I land, but if you have heard about my travel issues to New York City for my HUC-JIR interview or the return journey from Cincinnati from the College Colloquium back in 2008, I can only expect some marvelous adventure on Saturday.
This chapter comes to a close with me saying the following;
To everyone I was able to see in the last two weeks, "Thank you for making my last weeks in the USA fantastic. Some of the best weeks I have had in the last few years."
To everyone I wasn't able to see, "I'm sorry we didn't find a chance to meet up, hopefully we will find a time when I'm back in the states next May."
To everyone I that has helped me on getting to this point, "Thank you. I love you. I couldn't have made it to this point without you."
To anyone I know who will be in Jerusalem in the next 11 months, "Find me on facebook or skype and we'll meet up. It will be great to see another yankee over there."