Figuring I'd be slightly tired tonight, I decided to write this post on the (very long) bus ride back from NY. I wrote about what we've done in the city today, what's coming, and to make my life a little easier, I even pre-wrote the assumed summary of Simchat Torah celebration, as this is not my first year experiencing it (I promise everything else is written in real time - you can go ahead and read the blog posts from previous years online).
However, after arriving home tonight, I realized I can't publish it. I can't publish it because what I wrote doesn't even begin to come near a fair description of the we all experienced tonight. The warm welcome from the families and their delicious home-made food after a weekend of bagels and pizza, the energies after a very long day, the joy, dancing, singing, hugging, the togetherness, the choking up when it was time to say goodnight, they were all missing from it.
The weather we experienced today was transitional as well, as the fall rain took the place of the warming sun we got used to, and the leaves changed their colors in a rapid pace as we traveled north.
We tried tying this theme of transitions into our day, as we visited the place that symbolizes transition maybe more than anywhere else - Ellis Island. The old immigration processing center, which was the last step out of the old world and the first into the new one for many immigrants, including millions of Jews, provided us with the opportunity to reflect upon our shared Jewish stories, as well as think about the transition we are currently going through as a group and as individuals.