Aliyah. Woo?

Rav Kelemen once told a story about a girl who wanted to get sterilized so she wouldn’t bring kids into the world, as its a horrible place, said she. (I think I’m going to mess this up but bear with me anyway.) Then there was some story about a woman who was at an ashram for 10 years before coming to Yerushalayim and becoming frum, she met a holocaust survivor who told her that Auschwitz was a good place, and the ashram was a bad place. Her reasoning was that the ashram was a place of meditation and recluse – it was a place of selfishness, whereas in Auschwitz, they did all they could to help each other survive, despite all of their hardships.

Rav Kelemen then told sterilization girl to imagine that she’s in junior high and that she decides she wants to be a doctor. So she works really hard to get good grades so she can get into a good high school. She gets in. All through high school she makes sacrifices and works hard because she has this dream, this goal in mind, and she succeeds. She does really well, takes her APs, gets straight As, gets into the best college, works her butt off and doesn’t have any fun because she has this dream of being a doctor and she’s going to do it. Yada yada yada, she gets straight As, she’s valedictorian, gets into Harvard Med school, works her butt off, top of the class, and then she’s starting her residency, its her dream, she’s been working on this since she was a kid. She gets all suited up, and about to enter the O.R. as a doctor for the first time, and someone comes out covered in blood, screaming how horrible it is in there! She’s not going to change her mind and turn and run, this is what she’s been waiting for! Its her dream!

Now, his point to sterilization girl was that if you come to this world to take, there aren’t enough resources to go around, it IS a horrible place for you. But if your goal is to give, there are so many people waiting to receive, its just what you need to fulfill your mission, and it is wonderful.

That was Rav Kelemen’s point, but it’s not mine. I’ll take you on a little detour.

It would be CRAZY if, just before entering the O.R., she turned around and left. But its also expected and normal that she would have a moment or 2 of doubt and fear.

Throughout my entire lifetime, and then even more strongly for the past 7 years, I have had this dream of aliyah. Having this dream has forced me to make really hard choices (Although for me they didn’t seem so hard, they came naturally because this is something I have wanted so badly for so long…how much bechirah was really involved here?)

Just when it is upon me, when this huge life-changing amazing transition is about to occur, I am getting cold feet. I know in my head that I want to go, but I’m getting scared. I know in my head that Hashem will take care of me, and give me everything that I need – that if I don’t get it, I don’t need it, etc. And I mostly know this in my heart as well. But it seems as of late that my heart is getting temporary selective amnesia. It comes and it goes and its strange to question something you’ve taken for granted FOREVER.

People tell me this is a natural reaction. People who have traveled this road before me are offering chizuk, telling me that they too felt this way, and that life is hard there, but worthwhile. I know all this, though it is helpful to hear from the other side of the fence.

The problem is that I would rather not have doubts DURING the journey.

B”H its not hard to remember why I want to go, there are reminders left and right.

Someone posted photos of an arriving flight, and suddenly, scared as I am, I cannot wait to make this transition. greeters.jpg

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4 Responses to Aliyah. Woo?

  1. Jack says:

    Those photos always get me.

  2. Are you there? Are you going?

  3. rebelwithacause says:

    I know in my head that Hashem will take care of me, and give me everything that I need – that if I don’t get it, I don’t need it, etc.

    Of course that is true. One rebetzin told me this story. One guy wanted to win the lottery but he never bought a ticket but prayed to Hashem. So one day he realized that without buying the ticket he will never win the lottery. I think someone who wants to make a succesful Aliyah should look for a job in Israel first. Just going there without a job and hanging around there like a hobo won’t benefit you and neither Israel. That is one of the main reasons why I haven’t done Aliyah. Some people might disagree with me and say that is not a valid reason but everyone has a different standard. No money, no Torah.

  4. what a chesed from HaShem! He wants to enhance the merit you get for coming to Israel by giving you one final, difficult test.

    “No money, no Torah.”
    “Rabbi Eleazar ben Azaryah said: If there is no Torah there is no ‘Derech Eretz’; if there is no ‘Derech Eretz’ there is no Torah…If there is no flour, there is no Torah; if there is no Torah, there is no flour” [Pirkei Avot 3:20 (or sometimes 21)]
    It works both ways my friend. Though I think your quote is unrelated… why do you equate Eretz Yisrael with Torah? They are two different concepts, with completely different sets of associated merits. For example, we acquire Eretz Yisrael through the merit of circumcision (see Bereishit 17, specifically verses 7-10). Circumcision, however, has no overt connection to Torah study (though a person could attempt to go through Avraham Avinu and say that because Avraham Avinu, who represents the higher Wisdom aspect of Torah got the commandment of circumcision then there is an association – but the fact that uncircumcised gentiles are allowed to study certain portions of the Torah is a more than sufficient refutation IMHO).
    Israel is a place where HaShem’s presence is felt more fully and His providence is fulfilled more closely. Especially in Jerusalem, HaShem’s presence is almost palpable. The number of little ‘coincidences’ I have experienced here (in Israel, spec. Jerusalem) have been incredible. Truly, HaShem takes care of His people in His land. A practical person will of course look at the situation and observe that unemployment in Israel is high and the minimum wage is low. They will take advice from people who say not to come without a good amount of savings.
    A person with bitachon will observe that HaShem is more directly running His land and that in this period of Kibutz Galuyot, HaShem is actively caring for those who fling themselves into His open and welcoming arms.
    I’m not saying it’s easy. As Rabbi Lazuri told me, having true bitachon is rare and it means not buckling under the pressure of having unpaid bills weighing down severely. If a person cannot manage to keep faith in HaShem despite severe poverty and debt then they are not ready to live on bitachon alone. HaShem has been testing me severely lately… I’m realizing how little true faith I have, and at the same time seeing how much HaShem cares for me… it feels like He’s lowering me, very gently, into a dark and desperate place… though on the bright side, my tefilla has never been better! Blessed is He who is slow to anger.

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