Finally! Our dream was beginning to come true at long last!
Every time I thought about it, and especially when I mentioned it or made a phone call in order to move things along, the telltale tears came unbidden, and my voice inevitably faltered as I got hopelessly choked up.
Our first six children had been born in the Holy Land, but ironically every one of them married and set up home in the United States. When we were zoche to ultimately return to the Promised Land with our four youngest children, who had (likewise ironically) all been born in chutz la’aretz, our six oldest sadly remained behind. And, needless to say, the joy of our long-awaited return was significantly marred by the fact that so many of our children, and all of our grandchildren, were not sharing that wonderful milestone for which we had hoped and prayed for so long.
However, now we were gradually beginning to see the magnificent turning of the tide. Our oldest son, along with his wife and three children, were planning their much-anticipated aliyah, and were, be”H, expecting to arrive some time this summer! The news was music to our ears, and the mounting excitement was palatable, as they reported completing each painstaking step in the prolonged, complex aliyah process.
All five of them renewed their American passports and updated or applied for Israeli passports. Among countless other things, they contacted Nefesh B’Nefesh, attended aliyah meetings, and filled out a mountain of paperwork.
Then it was our turn. We made several trips to the Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of the Interior) to fill out our own required forms for our bechor who had left Israel as a minor and was now planning his own “second coming” at age thirty-five.
Knowing how important it was to our kids (and their Yekke nature so unlike his own) my husband uncharacteristically dropped everything during the final week of hectic Pesach preparations and drove to the Misrad Hapnim to request the information they needed for their files. When his turn finally arrived, he nonchalantly tendered his driver’s license, his usual form of photo ID. Alas this was the Ministry of the Interior, and they required a Teudat Zehut, the government issued ID card they had presented us with years earlier. Unfortunately, my husband did not have the requisite document with him, and was forced to return home empty-handed despite his best intentions.
A frantic search of the desk and shelves in his study yielded no results; he had no idea where he had put the elusive, not to mention very crucial, ID card. If G-d forbid he had actually lost it and it somehow fell into the wrong hands, the outcome could be extremely serious, possibly even life and death. After all, we were living in the Wild, Wild Middle East, surrounded by enemies who fervently wished us harm or worse.
Unlike his better half, my husband is far from a worrier; under ordinary circumstances he would most likely not bother to give the matter a second thought. He was definitely not the type to envision worst-case scenarios (like, ahem, yours truly), and would in all probability have relegated the matter to the proverbial back burner without missing a beat.
Our Yekkish son and daughter-in-law, however, were unrelenting. They needed that paperwork, and they needed it now! Which meant that my husband needed to locate his Teudat Zehut, come what may. But, it had apparently disappeared without a trace, and he was clueless as to where to even begin resuming the search for it.
So there we were, inadvertently impeding the aliyah process that we so wished to encourage AND falling behind in our Pesach preparations at one and the same time. We were the unwitting poster children for “Stuck between a rock and a hard place.”
Eventually, Hubby decided to call off the seemingly fruitless search and at least cut his losses by belatedly continuing his Pesach cleaning. Back to his study he went, but this time to ready it for Chag Hamatzot.
He organized, sorted, even (gasp!) dusted here and there. Slowly, his office began to take shape.
“Naama?” he called out to me, “What do you say to me dumping this scanner? With the new technology on my phone I can get a much clearer picture, much faster…”
“It’s totally up to you,” I replied matter-of-factly. I was neck-deep in my own slave labor, and had little time or inclination to belabor the point. “Do whatever you want…”
Moments later there was an unexpected shriek from the direction of the study. My husband emerged, grinning from ear-to-ear (not his typical erev Pesach signature look!), holding aloft a familiar light blue plastic encased object.
“You’ll never believe this!” he enthused. “I decided to get rid of the scanner after all, but first I flipped it open… Guess what I found inside!”
He had obviously scanned his ID card for some official purpose who knows how many months earlier, and had unknowingly left it there ever since… We shuddered to think how many more months (or perhaps even years) it would have remained there undetected, had he not been immersed in the traditional annual Pesach cleaning ritual.
The next day, he triumphantly brought his Teudat Zehut along on a repeat trip to the Misrad Hapnim, and was able to retrieve the necessary facts and figures for the kids’ aliyah files. One more step completed, one additional step closer to the prize we all craved.
And despite the fact that this transpired at arguably the busiest and most overwhelming juncture of the Jewish calendar, the message was crystal clear to all of us: Call it our very own Passover miracle.
For while the lost and found ID card belonged exclusively to my husband, the fingerprints on it were undeniably Divine!