Sunday, March 26, 2006

....‘Just Had To Make Aliyah'

ok wandering, i can post this now. i still don't think its postworthy, but at least its not 'fresh'. i dont feel so connected anymore. its not a chunk of my heart anymore. its almost not shayach to me bichlal. G-d knows what will be. (see post about G-d planning as soon as the sabra laughs) p.s. ill prob have to take it down as soon as the mum sees it.

How I Got To The Point in My Life Where I ‘Just Had To Make Aliyah'
I don’t know what ‘enhances one’s candidacy for aliyah services’, but I do know what I feel in my heart.

All my life, I imagined what Israel was like and would dream that one day I, too, would be granted the privilege of walking on its holy, history-drenched soil. A year and a half ago my dream was realized when I stepped off the plane in Ben Gurion airport. I was there to study in a seminary for the year but really, really I was there to spend a year of spending and saving, yelling and telling, touring and exploring, tasting and wasting and LIVING in my land. Yes, Eretz Yisroel is the rightful inheritance of every single Jewish person; and thus the main thing was ‘simply’ to be here.

June came around all too soon, and off we all went. Never to be seen again. Well, not quite. I missed Israel so much, missed the warmth and genuineness of the natives, missed the courage and tenaciousness of the 'settlers', missed the blunt yet kind and caring atmosphere in the buses, shops and waiting rooms, missed the feeling of 'belonging' and most of all, I missed the holiness of the land. I missed walking on the grounds that our forefathers walked on. And thus, I had to come back.

With the help of G-d, I was granted the opportunity to return after that summer, and I have been living here ever since. More than once a day, I mentally (and often verbally, as well) thank G-d for giving me this wonderful, almost unbelievable opportunity: to be living here in Jerusalem. My day consists mainly of volunteering in an outreach center in the Old City and learning Torah in Geula. But of course, every moment and action of my day, whether I am grocery shopping in the famous Machane Yehuda “shuk”, running to catch a bus from the Central Bus Station, admiring and taking pictures of soldiers, struggling to understand the Hebrew radio station or waiting on line in the bank, is so unique and reminds me how grateful I am to be living the ‘Israel life’.

Many people ask me how it is that I am 'not scared to live in Israel'. I don't understand the question. Is G-d found any less, as it were, in His Home and Capital than the rest of the world? The Torah states that Eretz Yisroel is a land on which "…. tamid einei hashem elokeicha bah, mei’reishis ha’shanah v'ad acharis ha’shanah" ("the eyes of Hashem are continuously on it, from the beginning of the year until the end of the year"). Furthermore, if my people are suffering so much here, in the land that G-d gave us as a gift and an inheritance, how can I sit contentedly across the world? By being here, I show the Jews here that I am with them, that I believe as they do and I support them every step of the way. There is nothing that brings me greater satisfaction than the smiles of relief and gratitude that appear on the faces of Jews living all over Israel, when they hear that there is no place in America I would choose over their yishuv or city: be it Chevron, Netanya, Bat Ayin,Tel Aviv or Metula. It is a tremendous mitzvah and zechut to be here.

Yet, all this time it's a bit of a contradiction; I live here but I am still an American citizen. All my family is back in the States, I'm struggling with the language and I'm not making any money! Thus, the next step is to make aliyah. I need to be grounded here; not one foot here and one foot there. I need to be stable so I can start a family here and be here forever. I need to know that I am in Israel for ‘good’.

Please help me live in the place where I know I belong.

9 comments:

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Mazel tov on making Aliyah...

I think these duality of feelings are quite normal to have....

Do you have a group of people who are similiarly situated to you, where you can share some of your thoughts?

It sounds as if you have added something rather than taken something away from your life.

Nemo said...

"Eretz Asher..." {Posuk in Devarim! not Gemara}

Listen, I was sitting a shul somewhere in the world this past summer, and there was a Kiddush there for three 18-19 year old kids that were making Aliyah. This guy turns to me and comments, "Dumb kids! And we all have to sit here, smiling and supporting, while these kids make the worst move of their lives. The second the check stops coming from Daddy, I assure you that these kids are coming right home".

Anyhow, he's kinda right. I mean it's really cool to be an American in Israel, you travel to whichever corner you'd like, you have all the kosher food you could ever desire, and there's a whole bunch of young American kids that constantly give you someone to hang out with. If you have money, all the better.

But I think that as soon as reality sets in and you've gotta make a living and eventually start life, things aren't so cool anymore. Not everyone is up to it, not when you're young. I think many kids end up quitting after they finnish their army sentence. I wonder if there are statistics of Aliyah dropouts available?

But I have alot of respect for the kids the stick it out. I'm amazed by anyone that can pull off the struggles that come with settling and getting on your own feet in a foreign country. The hardships seperate the men from the boys {etc.}. Good for you, and good luck!

wandering said...

and the women from the girls... and sabra is definitely a woman who can pull it off!! chava we are living all our dreams and wishes for Israel through you. You are doing what none of us were able to pull off- kol hakavod! may we soon all have both feet firmly planted in the holy land of israel with mashiach!

the sabra said...

nemo, thanks for the source correction. that was dumb of me.

as for the rest of everyone-blah blah blah (for real)

the sabra said...

sorry, that was maybe ketzat not so polite. stam, i just haven't made aliyah yet so dont mazel tov me yet.
barbara, thanks for comin by and commenting. i shall respond properly to all that has been written, when i am able to. (able=room packed, emotionally stable, not sick from all the breakfast chocolate, no roommate hittin me on the head or throwin old broccoli at me for not cleaning my dishes, naot bought, heart calm and i think thats it for now as to what constitutes 'able'.)

Scraps said...

At least you're there already. That's more than half the battle.

You should just know, though, that if you're planning on really making aliyah, that you should probably declare it soon. If you're in the country for more than 18 months out of a 3-year period without declaring aliyah, you'll lose your sal kleitah (and 15,000 NIS, while not a huge sum of money, is still nothing to sneeze at).

the sabra said...

ya ya been there already. almost went bald from frustration.
but i do appreciate u takin the time to gimme ur aliyah 2 cents (all money, in any form, is welcome).

Yoel.Ben-Avraham said...

Dearest Sabra,

I got on a plane, having never been here, and made Aliya the moment I touched the ground. Easy? No! But what choice did I have if I really believed that this was the home of the Jewish People - REALLY believed!

I was lucky to find a fantastic woman who made Aliya at the age of 17! That's a story and a half! Together we built a family and weathered the last thirty five years together ...

Wishing you every success. If you'd like to spend a Shabbat (or two) in Shilo - home of the Mishkan almost 400 years before the Beit HaMikdash was built, drop me a line!

Yoel Ben-Avraham
Shilo, Benyamin, Israel

the sabra said...

walla i definitely will! im yirtzeh hashem, that is.
i really do appreciate that yoelba, and G-d willin, we'll ALL be back there before you know it, with moshiach and the proper bet hamikdash. amen!

p.s. to all ya well wishers and the like-i do NOT need any encouragement to move here. you can bet your bottom dollar, or shek, on that one. rather there are some complications, including sitra achra puzzles, involved. why don't we do it this way-soon as im an israeli citizen and the big move is complete well do a whole mazel-tov-omg-so-proud-of-you-te--us-all-about-it-now-youre-a-proper-jew-how-and-why-did-you-do-it lechaim.
bseder?