Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Back home and NY second glance

You can call me chicken, but when I saw my yahoo inbox had 271 letters, I figured I'd just say hello via me-ander, first.

I had a full week plus, =9days, without cell phone and just one short session on my friend's computer. Yes, I survived! I just hope that y'all missed me.

The plane was more than half empty. I had a whole three seat section to myself; so I actually slept a bit.

It seems like Arik Sharon is still in a coma, or badly brain-damaged. Nothing else is new here, except that my "master bedroom" shower was fixed. They hung up the shower curtains I bought a couple of years ago.

This was my first winter in the "big apple" since '69-70. I was prepared for the worst. It rained and snowed. I packed boots but never wore them of course, since I didn't have them with me when I needed them. Par for the course. I wore my best shoes in the rain, since I couldn't get my sturdy ones easily. I went down from the 21st floor to the 5th on Shabbat in my good ones, and if you think I was going to walk back up just for a pair of shoes... So after Shabbat I packed and stuffed the good ones with the boring parts of the NY Times, and they were dry enough, after changing the paper, to wear to the dinner on Sunday.

Yes, the "dinner," which was technically a "reception." I presume that the term means more to the caterer. But just like a "rose,"

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Romeo & Juliet , Act II, Scene. II

the reception was a dinner. That's the NCSY's Ben Zakkai Honor Society's Reception, honoring some very special people and also inducting five new people into the society, including me.

First of all I must thank everyone involved, and the most thanks goes to David Luchins and his wife Vivian! I can't believe that they actually considered my presence so important. And I want to thank David Hurwitz for introducing me so eloquently. And again to thank all of the others involved. I didn't have a chance to properly take leave, since the driver had come already to take me and my parents back, and Rav Leff was in the middle of his Dvar Torah.

What I must say is how amazed I was at how "at home" I felt at this NCSY event, like I always did from my very first event in 1963. Decades have passed, and nothing changed. Just hearing Rabbi Stolper's voice, the same magic as before.

Yes, we're older, but the Torah is Eternal. I guess that's the message, the real one, and the one I learned from NCSY as a teen.

Unless I'm mistaken, there were only three of us from Israel there, Rabbi Leff, his wife Rivka, who was with me on the NCSY National Board way back when, and me. My big surprise and great treat was seeing "the boy from the Bronx" and the one born on my 16th birthday. Twenty years ago they were in the yeshiva in Shiloh and "adopted" me and my family. It's so nice to see them all grown up and successful, and I must admit that it also feels good to know that they haven't forgotten me.

And if I'm already thanking people I must thank my "buddy," Rose, since I don't think I could have made the changes, transition, I did all those years ago, if I didn't have the support of a good friend attempting the same path. And also I want to thank my sister-in-law for making time in her busy schedule to be with me. And of course, my parents. In all honesty, who would I be without them? Bli eyin haraa, ad me'ah v'esrim, and they're getting closer.

And now, I think it's about time to see how many more letters are waiting for me at yahoo and attack them. I guess I'll have to delete a lot, so, if I inadvertently don't answer, your letter may have gotten mixed with the "I just can't," so please write again!

Baruch Hashem! I'm home!


wendy said...

What a fun trip. I'm glad you had a good time and that you made it home safely.

Batya said...

Thanks, and I'm even up on time after sleeping a full night!

Unknown said...

COngrats, but more importantly, welcome back!

Did you get a chance to meet my aunt?

Batya said...

Thanks, Ezzie, sorry, but I didn't see your aunt. I saw few people, not all the relatives I had been hoping to see. Just spent time with my parents and youngest and a few others and of course the "dinner."