They were adorned with white scarves and newly purchased suits in honor of the festive occasion. Some waited 15 years or more for this day, to finally touch the earth of the promised land.
And on the other side of the sliding doors, stood their loved ones. Brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. More than a decade of separation divided them, and now all that stood between them were two sliding doors.
And as the doors opened, the floods of tears poured out. Tears of happiness over the first embrace of a loved one after more than a decade. Along with tears of anguish over those who did not make it to see this day. Over those who passed on in Ethiopia, during the many years of waiting to immigrate to Israel.
And between the happiness and sadness surfaced feelings of relief. Relief over the fact that there is progress in this struggle. That in this often dark world, there are also moments when justice prevails.
And feelings of pain. Pain over the close to 8,000 remaining Jews of Ethiopia, who are still waiting to immigrate to Israel. Whom the Israeli government promised to allow into Israel, yet these promises are yet to be fulfilled. For them, the struggle continues. And for them, we will continue to fight.
But at least this week, we can rejoice in a few moments of “nachat” in knowing, that there is hope. That dreams can be fulfilled. And that Am Yisrael Chai felt a bit more real this week.
For more information and to get involved with the continuing struggle, email Alisa at email@example.com