We need to get up at 1 am to make our flight that leaves at 5 am. I don’t know who made these flight arrangements, oh wait, it was me. Everyone tells us that you need at least three hours to get through security. They may be close to right. In Jerusalem I learned about the 12 Stations of the Cross, well, in the Tel Aviv airport there are five stations of security.
When we get to the airport at 2 am there is a line long enough to make a retailer cry. Why aren’t they coming to my store? I wonder what I can sell them. Anyway, we get into the business line and go right to the front. However, because of the shift change we have to wait for 15 minutes. Looks like some old British celebrity is here as well. People coming up to get this autograph. He was very polite. I think a member of the Rolling Stones.
So we get to phase one and now have to go and get our boarding pass. Not easy, since we have no seat assignments. This however works out. Now we have to return our rented phone. Then next, we have to go to the passport check. Easy enough, except every time we stop we have to go through all of the same questions. You want to answer, yes, I have a weapon, and I have let everyone in the airport touch my bag and I took three packages from strangers at the airport to bring back to the US to their Middle Eastern parents.
From passport check in we now go through the normal (read US type) security line. Easy except for the woman in front of us that did not realize she would actually have to show a passport and ticket so she had to dig into a bag bigger than my dad was issued for all of his gear when he was deployed to North Africa.
The flight was easy and now we had to do all of this again in Spain. I do feel safe now as we are flying over the Atlantic.
The trip was wonderful. I did not really get to see everything I had hoped to see, but I did get to see something wonderful, perhaps even beautiful. I had hoped to see Masada and that just did not fit into our schedule. To know that there is a place, like Warsaw during World War II, that our Jewish ancestors fought the ultimate battle is very important to me. These were a people that KNEW there is only one G-d Shama Israel. They knew that they were doing the right thing and would not give in to oppressors. I would have liked to have gone to the Dead Sea and many of the other historical parts of Israel, but that will happen in another trip.
What I did get to see, my surprise, was the love that a man has for his people and the life long friendships a man can make. The glow Harry had throughout the trip is impossible to describe. Harry Kahn is a unique individual. He likes to be contrarian. He wants you to take the other point of view, just to make sure you have thought of everything. But on this trip, there was only one point of view, look at this country, look at these people and what they have accomplished. The unspoken word is that because of the sacrifice they make every day, Jews in America have the ability to practice their religion. They are the front line of our religious freedom and Harry is so proud of them.
It is a rare time in your life when you can see a man like Harry Kahn get so tied up he can’t talk. I experienced this many times in the past week. I can always go back and see the things and places I missed on this trip, but I thank G-d for the opportunity I got to see Harry Kahn.
So, this is the story of Rich and Harry’s great Israeli adventure. I hope you enjoyed it and come back to see the pictures soon.