Friday, July 23, 2010

Getting the Aliyah Call

I just finished reading another new book about the aliyah process.  It's called You Come for One Reason But Stay for Another: Making the Odyssey to Israel by Rabbi Mordechai Weiss.  Rabbi Weiss moved to Mitzpeh Yericho, which is quite close to where we are in Ma'ale Adumim, and Ma'ale Adumim gets mentioned quite a few times in the story.

But it is a quote from the very end that most resonated for me.  "To tell you the truth, I moved to Mitzpeh Yericho because I received an invitation to do so.  Not everyone receives this invitation, but I was fortunate enough to receive one.  And I was fortunate enough to accept.  The invitation came from God."

That's how I feel about being here.  As I have said on many previous occasions, on September 11, 2001, Hashem called me to come live in Israel.  It was a personal call.

My husband didn't get the call, but I didn't stop talking about it for years, so he came to believe that it was increasingly urgent for us to respond to the call.

He didn't get the aliyah call right away, but today, he got a text message from IKEA, letting us know that our bookshelves will be delivered on Sunday and wishing us a Shabbat Shalom.   This same IKEA has a mezuzah attached to the kitchen display room.  And a kosher cafeteria where religious Jews sit at tables near Arabs, who are all there to buy the same kinds of mass-produced consumer goods.

We are 17 days into this new chapter of our lives.  In 17 days, I have experienced approximately 2.5 minutes of bureaucratic frustration and endless joy at being here.  A major reason I am so happy here is the novel sense that I am understood.  I am living among people who have gotten the aliyah call themselves, so they all know what it means.

A few days ago, we broke the Tisha B'Av fast with, among others, a friendly couple, already here 6 months.  The husband was an incredibly affable guy, a born Israeli who moved to America as a young man and came back for the sake of his American-born, Zionist wife.  I sat next to him when the discussion turned political.  "Oh my!" I realized to myself as the conversation played out, "This man is a true-blue leftist who still believes in land for peace."  What a novel experience!  I never get to meet leftists.

To my worldview, he's both naive and completely wrong about the nature of our enemies. Nonetheless, I enjoyed meeting both him and his wife, who also got her aliyah call and brought her husband Home.

On another note, I'm looking forward to our lift arriving and the pleasures of more of our own things around, even as I dread the unpacking a little. If only I could remember who offered to help us sort and shelve our books...

Yesterday, our old house got new owners, thus well and truly ending our physical connection to Baltimore.  With Gd's help, we've answered the aliyah call and we are here to stay.

I am feeling very blessed.

2 comments:

Elianah-Sharon said...

You are such an inspiration. My husband did not get the call either but he is willing to follow me wherever I go...so we're going. I am figuring out the finances as we speak but somehow, someway...

rutimizrachi said...

To Elianah-Sharon: Hashem should bless you with success!

To Bat Aliyah:

"On another note, I'm looking forward to our lift arriving and the pleasures of more of our own things around, even as I dread the unpacking a little. If only I could remember who offered to help us sort and shelve our books..."

It wasn't me. (Anything I can do to help reduce the number of names you have to sift through to remember. Don't thank me. I'm a giver.)