Monday, December 21, 2009

On Wings of Eagles

There is a biblical metaphor, the image of an eagle that carries its young on its wings. The eagle flies higher than any other bird, and so cannot be attacked from above. Its pinions and fierce beak and talons protect from attack from below. So G-d carried the children of Israel out of Egypt, on the wings of eagles to protect them from harm. Now we are completing our Exodus on the wings of a modern eagle, a 777 Boeing ElAl jet liner. (May G-d protect us from harm.)

We are sitting at he boarding gate level at Newark, waiting for 12:30 so we can return Spot and his kennel for search and boarding. Pam is taking care of Spot, who is confused, but not panicked.

Spot waits for doggy check-in with Pam

I request a coke which Mark gets from Chili's. Chava decides on a Bloody Mary. We sit nervously and drink.

We drink and wait to board Spot

Suddenly a gate agent appears and asks me to bring Spot. What a surprise, the first time an airline agent has actually sought me out to bring me somewhere on time. Mark and I carry Spot's kennel back up to the ticketing level, where a guard searches the kennel and pats down the bedding, looking for explosives. He assures me that Spot will not be left outside in the cold and rain. I turn and walk away. Spot does not whimper or bark. I walk quickly so I will not hear him, in case he does.

We bid the Finkels good-bye and pass easily through gate security. We walk to the gate. Again there is no line. We walk on, unmolested with all of our carry-ons, find our seats with some difficulty, since seat labeling on airlines continues to baffle me, stow our baggage and wait for take off. The ticket agent has told us that the flight is not full, but all this appears to mean is that not every single seat is sold. There are a scattered handful unbooked.  So, the flight is nearly full but still surprisingly comfortable.

There is little to say about the flight. It was quick and easy. You could almost say we enjoyed "k'vitzat ha'derech", the shortening of the way that our biblical ancestors experienced on auspicious journeys: Jacob when he left Beer Sheva to go to Lavan; Eliezer when he left Abraham to go in search of a bride for Issac; and the Jews when G-d took them out of Egypt.

Our plane touches down at Ben-Gurion airport at 7:10 AM local time on Monday, December 14, 2009, the third day of Chanukah, 5770 years since the Creation of the World. It is an overcast day with intermittent showers. We are Home.

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