|The brand-spanking new Jewish couple.
In the end, the trip to the US gave me a new perspective on a number of issues related to aliyah, and to the profound difference I experience between life in America and life in Israel.
Of course I know that not everyone lives a materially blessed life in America, but the material life I experienced there was so, so easy. We were blessed with access to a (nice) car, a GPS and a private apartment. The shopping opportunities were plentiful and the stores were all clean, spacious and beautifully designed. Parking was plentiful. The things we wanted to buy were affordable. The hotel we stayed at was luxurious. And the customer service, nearly everywhere, was outstanding (and in English!)
It was actually a bit scary how easy everything in the material world was there.
My husband, a master of metaphor, offered me this simile. In America, materialism is like really loud music. Even if you like the music, even if you are dancing to the music, its volume drowns everything else out.
So while we were there, albeit for less than a week, I had a bit of amnesia about God. About my neshama. About geula.
To me, it seems an extraordinary feat to live in America and still manage to stay connected to the spiritual dimensions of life. I applaud that ability. I'm not saying that spirituality doesn't exist there. But it surely was much harder for me personally to access.
I loved being with my family. I especially loved seeing my nephews, both of whom are now grown men (and one a newly-married man).
At the same time, I am incredibly grateful to have come back home, where the spiritual side of life is so much easier for me to access.