Today was the closest we have had to a ‘normal’ day since we got here. After getting the kids off to school, I spent the morning cleaning and doing laundry. My husband went off to buy material for the succah. The boys managed to come home on their own – no one ended up in another town today. We did homework and colored. I made dinner. It was all seeming pretty ordinary until I noticed the view as I was driving our daughter home from Gan (nursery). The 5 minute drive from the Rimon neighborhood where she goes to school, down to the Gefen neighborhood where we live, was enough to take my breath away. As I noticed the panoramic view of the Judean hills I realized that ordinary living would forevermore be extraordinary. Later, the kids rode their bikes, we ate dinner and gave the kids baths. It was a good day. I’m starting to feel a little less like a new immigrant and a little more like a new being.
Later on I read this quote in the Muqata blog. It was very apropos.
From R' Ari Enkin at the Hirhurim blog:
"The Holiness of an ordinary weekday in Eretz Yisrael is like that of a Shabbat in Chutz La'aretz. The Holiness of Shabbat in Eretz Yisrael is like that of Yom Kippur in Chutz La'aretz. The Holiness of Yom Kippur in Eretz Yisrael cannot be found anywhere else in the world" -Zohar
I first saw this teaching shortly after making Aliya five years ago and it has been with me daily ever since. Frankly, for me it is one of the most compelling pieces of introspection and mussar – to know that I am in the palace of the King, where the Holiness is incomparably powerful - and even tangible. How those of us who live in Eretz Yisrael must properly prepare for, utilize, and appreciate Yom Kippur.