Sunday, March 28, 2010

Before It's Too Late

I often sit with two simultaneous feelings about moving to Israel.  I spend a lot of time thinking of logistics and the details of our future daily lives.  What size shipping container do we need?  What items should I stock up on at WalMart before we go?  Will we ever get jobs in Israel?  How much will I miss kosher Chinese food?  Will I ever feel comfortable driving in Jerusalem?  Will the passport pictures I got be enough?  Will I ever learn the language sufficiently to feel truly at home in my Homeland?  Is the school we're thinking of the right choice for our daughter? Will I ever feel comfortable boarding a bus like an Israeli? Will I be a hopeless greenhorn the rest of my life?  From whom will it be hardest to part? Who among our loved ones will follow us on this path?  Will we run out of money? And on and on.

An endless loop of questions.  All in my head.

The other feeling about moving to Israel doesn't live in my head at all.

It lives in my soul. 

Most Shabbat mornings, I spend time with the Israel-infused, aliyah-oriented writings of three of my rabbinic heroes - Rabbi Nachman Kahana, Rabbi Pinchas Winston and Rabbi Moshe Lichtman.  I love to wrap their words around me, to reassure myself that this is absolutely the right move, indeed, the only correct move, for our family.

My rabbis remind me that the world is shifting beneath my feet.  That Jewish history is moving ahead, inexorably, toward Redemption.  That, while it is always a good thing for a Jew to live in Israel, the current times demand that we get there as soon as possible... for our own good and for the future well-being of our families.

The approaches of my three rabbis differ.  One is exceedingly forthright in declaring life in America today downright dangerous for Jews.  One argues that the ideal condition for a Jew is lived in Israel and questions why, so many years after 1948, all serious Jews aren't already there.  One reminds me to look at the patterns in Jewish history and draw my own conclusions.

I love all three approaches, but I resonate most with the plain-spoken, least politically-correct one.  Week after week, he all but screams, "Can't you see that you're in the path of an oncoming train wreck??  GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!"

I sit with at least two simultaneous feelings about moving to Israel.  One is genuine concern about how hard it might be. In response, I expend lots of energy planning our aliyah, so that we will, hopefully, avoid at least the major pitfalls.

And the other is a resolute certainty that this move must be made and made now.  In response, I watch the political, economic and historical trends swirling around me and assure myself that, no matter what others in my life choose for themselves (and no matter how long it takes me to speak a competent Hebrew), this is truly what Gd wants from me.

I thank Gd we are getting the chance to do this now.

Before it's too late.

1 comment:

Barbara R. said...

Speaking Hebrew in this country and in this time is probably the least of your problems!! Living in this country is probably the best of all rewards!! I alternated between crying because now no one could tell me I had to leave and crying because I was soooo glad to be here.
"There will be no problems"...say that 3 times a day and guess what?? There will be no problems!!
I made aliyah with no family support. I made it!! You will too!