Although we are not working yet, sukkot was a welcomed vacation from settling in. We enjoyed spending the first day with my side of the family. Chol Hamoed was sprinkled with seeing different relatives and enjoying quiet time with just us. I loved having time to reconnect with our girls. We played a lot of board games, took walks and chatted about life.
It was especially meaningful to be able to visit the kotel over sukkot. As we rode the bus through the windy streets of Yerushalayim, we could not help but notice how many people were getting on with their lulav and etrog in hand. By the time we reached the kotel the bus was packed. I think every passenger got off at the kotel stop and joined the huge crowd trying to get though security. I just kept on thinking about how this was as close as we could get to doing the mitzvah of aliyah liregel. I explained the special opportunity to my children as we were pushed through the line. My daughter turned to me and said that she feels like we do more mitzvot now that we live in Israel. My smile was ear to ear. I was impressed that she felt that way. Walking up to the kotel with my three girls on sukkot, hearing hallel from multiple minyanim at the same time, seeing the tips of hundreds of lulavim from over the mechitza, this was one of those moments. Moments like this is why we made aliyah!
A stomach bug crept through our family on the next few days of chol hamoed. Due to our illnesses, we were not able to go on any tiyulim or big trips this year. We all felt better just in time to enjoy our first Simchat Torah in Ramot. The girls loved dancing in shul. They even started their own small circle with some of their friends on the women’s side of the dance floor. My oldest daughter mentioned later, that she really liked how she was able to participate in the dancing. We shared a special meal with friends that helped us realize how nice of a chevra we have surrounding us. Yuntif ended on a true high!