The day following our oldest daughter’s wedding in Eretz Yisrael was the day we had planned for my husband to return to his job in the U.S. I was staying for another week in Israel with the rest of our children and my dear mother in order to participate in the remaining wedding celebrations.
Baruch Hashem, after shedding some tears, my husband agreed to stay with us for the rest of the week. His new return flight was an hour and a half before the rest of our flights. At least now we would spend the rest of our vacation together, traveling to the airport and going through security and passport control as a family. We were thrilled with my husband’s decision to stay and grateful to Hashem for allowing us the opportunity to share a simcha together.
The days sped by. While in Israel we were supposed to help our daughter complete a scholarship form for seminary. Working on that form got pushed off until the day we were leaving Israel. When we were at the airport, after engaging in a long discussion with his new son-in-law, my husband was finally able to do the form online with our daughter. By the time the two of them had finished, I was in a near panic. The time had passed by much too quickly and the airport’s lines were getting longer and longer. I had never before seen such a flood of people at Ben Gurion Airport.
Though we asked again, El Al would not change my husband’s ticket so he could join us on our flight. We raced together through check-in but had to be separated at the ticketing counter in order for my husband to be able to board his flight on time. I was very disappointed and frightened that he was not going to be with us when we went through passport control. Even though we had gone through great lengths to prevent a mishap from occurring, I still worried that an official would decide to single out one of our children (who held dual citizenship for army service).
I took my seat on the plane with, Baruch Hashem, all of our children near me – and not on their way to serve in the Israeli army! After having a good cry because I was leaving my newly married daughter in Israel, I decided I was due some relaxation. Now that all the months of planning, along with the traveling and busy week, were behind us, I really needed some undisturbed quiet. Instead, I kept thinking about retrieving and transporting all of our luggage, helping my mother make her connecting flight, and finding reliable transportation to our cars without my husband’s assistance. With great siyata d’shemaya we had done well up to this point, so I told myself once again that now was the time to simply relax and enjoy the week’s good memories.
We all rushed off the plane (which had been delayed in take-off), as my mother had to make her connecting flight to Los Angeles. When we were in line at Passport Control, I heard her sweet voice call out, “Jodi, David’s here.” I was delighted; we were going to be reunited. Knowing that my husband was in a rush to go to work, I was eager to find out why he was still at the airport.
After boarding the plane for his 11:30 p.m. flight, he discovered that EL Al had to conduct a security operation because a passenger had checked in luggage but failed to show up for the flight. The passengers had to remain on the plane for an hour and a half while all the luggage was removed from the belly of the plane and put back in again. Our plane took off right after my husband’s plane at 1 a.m. And that’s how we all arrived at the airport in New York at around the same time.
My husband was able to help us with our luggage, with my mom’s flight, and with transportation to our cars. It felt so nice and secure to be able to walk out of the airport together – as a family.
So happy together!