Sometimes it's the little things that really drive it home. I was tying my shoelaces this morning- double knot, as always, because they tend to come undone- when I sighed a bit. You see, for the last week, saying Birkat Kohanim every morning, I only did one knot when getting dressed, so I could get them off more quickly. And now, after duchaning more in one week than I have in six months, I'm back to the galut.
They say that one reason we don't duchan every day in Chutz LaAretz is so Kohanim will miss it and want to move to Israel, maybe taking others with them. Well, I miss it. Move to Israel? Alas, not a major force in me right now.
Speaking of which, it's funny what you don't hear when you're in the middle of something. The new president of the OU made a bit of a tumult with his comments on olim. He apparently said (or, it seems, was misquoted as saying) that while the people who made aliyah in previous decades were losers who were fleeing from something and ended up schnorring, the ones who make it now are successful and doing it because they're really idealistic (i.e., their lives here are so good they must have higher goals).
What's funny is that I had just been discussing this with a friend and my sister (in reference to some people we met in Israel), and took a completely opposite view. To me, it's "cool" and easy to make aliyah now. I much more admire those who did it years back, when Israel was tougher to make it in and they had stars in their eyes. I guess where he sees ideals, I see fashion, and where he sees failure, I see idealism. Go figure. Eilu v'Eilu? Maybe. Or maybe he's thinking of a different decade in the past than I. Ah well. I think it's a big contretemps over nothing, alas.
And the trip and convention itself? A-MAZING. I had such a great time. It deserves a new post, so I'll try to add more (with photos, I hope) at some later point.