Crossing the Ocean

by Chanoch Ne’eman 7 Heshvan 5775 New Jersey  (c)

On Wed. night I got into a big El Al bird near Tel Aviv, and flew on its back to New Jersey. It is sort of weird sleeping in the same “room” as several hundred other people. How often do we do that? Reminds me a little of when I was in IDF Jail Four for 13 days, and slept in a big tent with some 30 other guys. At least no one was snoring on the plane. I am so proud of myself, that I managed to eat or drink nothing on the plane for the whole trip, which made me feel much better than I usually do. I was sitting near the back, on the left, where there were for 4 rows just two seats next to eachother, and I was next to a fellow about my age also from Jerusalem. So despite the inherent  uncomfort, it was a pretty good trip. Took the train down to Bay Head, where my dear Father picked me up. I was the only one to get off the train at that last stop!

This morning I went down to the ocean after davening. Took off my shoes and waded in. Water still warm. A long, low lying blanket of clouds went out to sea for maybe 2 to 3 miles, who knows? Some small motorboats where off shore trying to catch a school of fish, nearby too where a big flock of various sea birds, involved in the same venture. The sea air is wonderful, especially at night.

I am sort of embarrassed, towards my family perhaps, though not really towards myself, about the small amount of money I currently make. But I am grateful to Hashem, that I am able, by the work of my hands, to support myself, and also pay to fly here to visit my dear family. This ticket cost about a thousand dollars, which is pretty low compared to other times of the year.

Today going up to Princeton for Shabbat.


2 Responses to “Crossing the Ocean”

  1. Sarah M Says:

    I’m interested to know why you don’t eat or drink on a plane. Is it for kashrus reasons or just because you feel ill if you eat and drink while travelling?

  2. Hanoch Ne'eman Says:

    It is about digestion, at least mine. I do not digest well at altitude it seems. My theory is like this. You know how your feet swell up on the plane and it is hard to get your shoes back on? Well I think the food in my stomach gets pulled down too. This could be imaginary. More significantly, it’s the crazy times of the food given on the plane. We leave Israel at 1 am. So do you need a meal at 2 am? How would you feel doing that at home? And then another meal 6 hours later when you have been sitting and “sleeping” in a cramped chair. Plus if you do not eat and drink you are less pressed to wait on the bathroom line.

    I can only testify for myself, that fasting in the air left me feeling much better, during and after my flight. Eating is a terrestrial thing. Our sages said it was bad manners to eat standing. I would add flying too!

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