Friday, September 07, 2012

All Kinds of Courage

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

e.e. cummings


It's very hard to understand why Hashem picked me to become a religious Jew. Yes, I was born to Jewish parents, but I was raised in a family that had the most minimal connection to its Jewish heritage. I had zero Jewish education as a child. The vast majority of my Jewish memories date from when I was in my 20s and became interested in Judaism on my own. Decades later, I'm married to a rabbi and live a fully Jewish life in Israel.

No one who knew me was at all surprised when I made aliyah. Once on the path, it was a natural progression on my journey, always seeking a closer relationship with God.

Last night, I met a woman whose recent aliyah probably surprised a lot of people.

She's an older woman, easily in her eighth decade of life. She came on aliyah alone. With a few suitcases. No household goods. Fewer than 10 words of Hebrew. No Jewish education. No friends of family in Israel. No Jewish lifestyle.

Whatever possessed her to come?

Last night, she told me, "Ever since I first heard the word 'Israel', I knew I had to come. This is home now. I'm never going back."

She's of extraordinary good cheer, even though she knows almost nothing about Israel and what lies ahead. Already a cadre of good neighbors have come to her assistance. Yet, in many ways, she is as vulnerable here as a newborn.

I am blown away by the soul of this woman that pulled her halfway around the world.

And her courage. The courage to become who she really is.


5 comments:

rutimizrachi said...

There are tingles here. I love these moments when you know, just KNOW, that Hashem is gathering the exiles, physically and spiritually, because big things are happening...

Shabbat shalom, to you, dear friend, and to your new neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Funny how I just posted about coming to Israel alone and here you have a woman in her eighties doing the same thing. And the thing is that although I am alone I don't feel lonely.

Of course, I DO have two dachshunds, so life is never dull!! They studied canine uplan, so now they can ignore me in Hebrew as well as German, Spanish and English!

"Guinness! Komst du hier! ¡Ven aca! Bo! Come! Oh, never mind, i'll cary you. It's faster." ;^)

Anonymous said...

Shalom, For all the Americans on this blog, please do not vote. It is a waste of valuable time. It does not matter who wins, because Gd runs the world. If you are addicted to politics, please try to wean yourself off. I am not voting. Better to spend the 30 to 45 minutes crying out to GD to get you to Israel then to depend on human being to save you.

Batya said...

G-d willing the woman will enjoy good health and a wonderful life here.

I can't believe that we're already 42 years here in Israel. I can't imagine a different life.

Jeffrey Walsby said...

I congratulate this woman on her courage and obvious connection to the Jewish people. Having said, though, I believe that she most likely she has a comfortable nest egg, otherwise there is no way that she could live here.