The dust has settled; Passover 2015 is behind us. Yet lingering in my mind is the odd thought I had while sitting at the Seder table reading the story of the exodus from Egypt. Gazing down at the Haggadah before me, there in Philadelphia, I wondered if the exhausted souls who'd escaped Pharaoh and made their way through the dusty Sinai to the Promised Land, could ever have envisioned the degree to which, many generations down the road, their descendants would just as eagerly leave the borders of that same coveted land and travel off, in droves, to a wealth of destinations.  Who’d have thunk it?

Early in my ex-pat days I discovered the amazing fact that no matter budgetary or time constraints, Israelis were constantly on the move: picking up and flying off to one destination or another at any given opportunity. This wanderlust, no doubt stemming from the claustrophobia of their geographic location, as well as its extraordinary proximity to a wealth of destinations in both Europe and Asia, could be noted in holidays at the Turkish vacation parks, post-army treks to exotic locations bigger on dust than comfort and weekend getaways to sophisticated capitals of European culture such as London, Paris and Rome. Israel’s location makes it super-accessible to a bevy of interesting destinations—needing no Epcot.

Back then I was delighted to be part of such a culture-seeking people and several decades later, I still am. The lust for life that encourages this craze to travel, such a dominant characteristic of the population, never ceases to amaze. In the course of two weeks, over this past Passover holiday, over five hundred and fifty thousand passengers passed through Ben Gurion Airport with more than thirty five hundred flights recorded. In one single hour twenty-four flights were logged--achieving an airport record.

No, our forefathers could not have conceived of so great a level of travel across Israeli borders. Nevertheless, they would not have been surprised. After all, their instinct for exploration and confidence of purpose gave them the strength to forge the Red Sea and in the end, to arrive home. As we say, "Next year in Jerusalem."

 


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