Yesterday a Nefesh B’Nefesh charter flight of 254 Olim landed in Israel. But aside from all the passengers that made Aliyah the plane held my dear bike which I left behind almost six years ago to the day when I made Aliyah. I’ve been mentioning it to everyone I see all week. But actually aside from the humorous part there is something very important about such an occasion.
First some history. My father bought me this bike as a teenager and I spent many wonderful summers getting it covered in mud from the Catskills. I did ride it occasionally in the City as well but as I got older my bike found its way to my parent’s garage where it mostly collected dust. When it was time for me to make Aliyah that was one of the items I had all but given hope on ever making it to Israel. (Another was my large bar mitzvah shas set, which B”H did also end up making Aliyah a few years ago.)
Bringing my bike Home really represents moving the last possession I still owned in America. And today, on the six year anniversary of my Aliyah, as trivial as it may seem, seeing it parked in my machson really gives me a warm feeling of tying all the loose ends that were left open.
There’s a famous medrish that explains when Yaakov Avenu was returning to Eretz Yisrael he left some small jugs on the other side of the Jabbok river and returned to retrieve them. (It was here that he fought and defeated an Angel and was renamed Yisrael, Israel.) I wonder if Yaakov too felt his Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael wouldn’t be complete till everything he owned, even small jugs, were finally with him in the Holyland.