Last night was our annual shul dinner. I chipped in on an ad on behalf of the daily morning minyan (one of the honorees, and his ten-year-old son, are regulars), and so attended. It was really very nice- the MC mentioned that the shul has, as its guests of honor at its dinners, not big donors (it's not that sort of shul), but people who add to the life of the shul and community. And how true that was last night- some magnificient honorees, speeches, food (you have to mention it!), and time spent with the wonderful people who make up the shul, a pillar of the community.
And then, the rabbi got up and, assuring everyone I had no idea what was coming, spoke about how great it is that I'm making Aliyah, called me up to present me a sefer (the very appropriate Em HaBanim Semecha), and spoke about what I've contributed to the shul over the years (not much, I assure you, or so I thought) and how they will miss me. Wasn't that nice of them? Ah, there are things I'll miss here, and will strive to replicate in the Holy Land.