Our apartment has been a bit of a zoo for the last week. In spite of the chaos (or more accurately I think, because of it), it is finally starting to feel like home.
We had my cousin Micha here for yom tov. I can not believe how nice it was to have the comfort of family. She is far from being my closest cousin, but being able to share my home with family was a special feeling that I have been missing.
On the other hand, boy was having Micha wierd! As we have made aliya we now only keep a single day of yom tov. Micha and her friend were keeping 2 days. It was very strange to watch a movie last night (they had gone out for a walk) while it was still "chag" for them. Not only that, but I zapped dinner in the microwave, and they were allowed to eat it! This morning, after they packed off ot shul, I went to the makolet to get stuff for the party tonight.
Like I said, it was wierd.
Tonight we had our chanukat habayit (literally a dedication of the house, but used colloquially to mean a house warming party). The house was filled with friends both new and old. Jason's cousin's came. Even some of our friend's parents who we knew "in the old country" and who happend to either be living here now or on vacation came. There were even friends from Toronto who happened to be in Israel for the chagim.
There were people who went to elementary school with Jason or I. Friends from NCSY. Friends from high school. Friend's of Jason's from yeshiva. Although Rabbi Sack. did not make it out here, the rabbi from the shul we have been davening at did come by for a few minutes. It was actually the first time I have met him (as I am generally on the other side of the mechitza) but it did not take long to see why Jason thinks so highly of him.
There was music and laughing and for the first time I realized that living here is starting to feel "right". There is no question that the whole aliya thing is still a little strange and I still have loads of "oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-we-did-this-what-the-hell-were-we-thinking" moments, but they are spaced out by more and more "wow-I-really-like-it-here-and-am-glad-we-did-this" moments.
Our "industrial/shanty town" succah.