Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Joys of Jet Lag

Yes, we flew Turkish Airlines and it was great. An extra suitcase per person and almost every woman on the flight wearing a headscarf like me! Tied a bit differently - wrapped under the chin instead of knotted on the side - but all of us equals in giving the TSA people a headache (pun intended). And when I caught the eye of one of the young, thoroughly modern, head-covered Muslim women sitting near me on the plane, we smiled some sort of knowing smile; of ancestry shared and peace still elusive...

We went, we returned. Thank you, Hashem, for another wonderful trip. To Israel, of course. (Apologies to those I didn't contact because I knew I wouldn't have time to see.) Took enough photos to give me material for a couple of blog posts - after the jet lag clears.

Ahhh, yes, the jet lag. Been back for ten days now and still not on my "normal" sleeping schedule (a relative term, for sure). But I'm happily resigned to feeling my eyelids go oh-so-heavy way-too-early in the evening; to the mid-night tossing and turning as I try to tell my internal timer that we're not in Israel anymore. (She doesn't believe me.) I wake up bug-eyed at 5:00 a.m. and watch the sky turn from inky-black to baby blue.
I say "Modah Ani" (thank You, G-d, for returning my soul to me...) slowly and with feeling. There's even time to sing to myself the Modeh Ani song that I learned several months ago. The lyrics, voices and stunning scenery of the Shomron in central Israel make this rendition my personal Song of the Year - although it is somewhat more than a year old. (WARNING: Singing women ahead. Men are advised to consult their local Orthodox rabbi before proceeding.) By clicking on the link, you are also helping me follow through on my recent pledge to introduce you to more blogs about Israel. I just happened upon this one while searching for a link to the song. It's got lots of interesting info - and a blog roll of other Israel blogs that I will review in future posts, please G-d. But I digress. Blame it on the jet lag.
I take advantage of this extra hour of quiet time to reflect on our recent close my eyes and see the dawn of a new day in my beloved Har Nof (even though it's already noon in Israel). Whether I imagine the fog still low in the valley
or the snowy sleet on the sill, obscuring my view, I'm totally there. In my mind, I might replay one of the excellent Torah classes I attended or smell the sweet scent of the almond blossoms that bloomed like clockwork in honor of Tu b'Shevat.

And if I listen really hard, I can even hear the rushing waters of Tel Dan in Israel's North, where we saw the rivers swollen from the abundant rains of this very wet winter.

My jet lag gets me more help with the supper dishes and is my excuse for still not getting back to the gym. As I take on another jet lagged day, I say the morning blessing with extra enthusiasm: "Blessed are you, Hashem...Who gives the tired person strength." Not sleep. Strength. Clearly, the sleep thing must be overrated.

I assume there are various theories about why jet lag always seems worse when you get home from wherever you've been than when you got to where you were going. I'd like to think it's because you generally don't need to be reminded of where you live but rather of where you've traveled.

In a few weeks, when our clocks "spring forward", my sleep schedule will be forced back to "normal" and I will have to work harder to Remember my most recent trip to Jerusalem and pray harder for the day when we won't need any reminders at all...because we will be Home to stay.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your beautiful overview of your trip. I can almost imagine being there too if i close my eyes. It seems so close and yet so far away remembering the days when I lived there. Sadly, I didn't merit to stay.
    The brocha that you mentioned concerning giving strength to the tired. I read an interesting explanation about it that it doesn't mean physically tired, rather emotionally and spiritually tired.. tired of our daily efforts davening and awaiting the final geulah. When will it finally cone? Everyday we wake up and ask Ha-shem for renewed strength that today could be the day. And so Ha-shem should give strength to our weary neshamas that with just one more tefilla, one more act of chesed, one more giving of tzedaka, one more kind word,and then we'll see the arrival of Moshiach and return to our homeland finally. Ken yehi ratzon!