Ever have one of those friends where even if you don’t see them for years on end, when you finally get together again, the years fall away and it seems like you saw them just last week?
You meet their kids for the first time, realizing that some of them are older than you were when you first met, and they’re wonderful and amazing, and you wish you lived closer than 3000 miles away so you could spend so much more time with them, but you have to settle for subscribing to their YouTube channel and making them laugh by showing them YouTube videos of your kids, and then watching other videos, and then sitting down to a huge Shabbat lunch together.
And you hug and you talk and you hug some more. Your husbands don’t mind because it turns out they’re in the same industry, so they chat companionably. But you just keep hugging her because you can’t believe you’re finally seeing her again after all these years, to the point where you worry a little that you’re annoying her, but not really.
And you swear to get together again sooner than another twenty years. And you really mean it.
Although I have every intention of coming back some day, life, as always, is unpredictable. So it is possible that I will never again experience Shabbat in Jerusalem. Yet if that is Gd’s will, at least I’ve done it once, and can be grateful for that.