Tuesday, August 14, 2018

10 Years

This morning started out as a typical morning. We had the usual challenges of navigating Shlomo through his morning routine as he continues to develop his sense of independence. Then he was off for another day of Keytana. However, there was a change of status in our home.  As it is our 10th Aliyahversary, Channah and I are no longer considered New Olim.  Peri gets to maintain her status for a few more years.

I once had a tour guide explain the meaning behind Israel being referred to as the Land of Milk & Honey. It wasn't meant to be philosophical or poetic. It was meant as a description to Bnei Yisrael of the type of topography they would encounter. It was to assure them that the land was suited for the type of agricultural work they would need to grow crops, feed their animals and ultimately provide for their families. It is a land filled with opportunity ready was to be unlocked.

Living in this country has been a tremendous privilege and opportunity for me and my family. My 8 years in Beit Shemesh helped me and my family develop in ways that I could not imagine if I was still in Chul. The move to the north has given me an entirely new perspective on life. As a result I am learning to be even more comfortable with who I am and who I want to be.

Channah has thrived in her new surroundings. By the time Channah reached Grade 1, she could pass herself off as a Sabra. For the most part Shlomo passes himself off as more Israeli than Anglo. I love watching Shlomo and Yehduit grow and develop at every stage. I have a wonderful wife, amazing kids and a home that is filled with love. There is nothing more I could ever ask for.

The future of the Jewish people is here. I can feel it when the kids are at the park. I can feel it picking up and dropping off Shlomo from Gan. I can feel it on the beach. I can feel it between the pipes on the ice. I can feel it as I cross the train tracks on the way to shul on Shabbat, knowing that there will not be another train until the late afternoon.  I can feel it at a restaurant, mall or museum. I feel it in the political sphere as society tries to figure out what kind of society to be. It is just part of who we are, living as Israelis. I keep hearing about the disconnect of diaspora Jews from both Israel and Judaism. It is not the first time where Jews couldn't see the future of the Jewish people and ended up on the outskirts of Jewish history.

With a little bit of luck and hashgach pratis, Peri and I have parnasa where we are able to stay home and raise our children. We never lose sleep at night worrying how we are going to provide a Jewish education for our kids. Their Jewish identity is reinforced in the public sphere. Leaving Beit Shemesh has also restored my faith in tolerance. It has taken the edge off of my cynicism which is the only way to survive the religious battles, intolerance and hatred that makes up the fabric of part of the community.

When I made Aliyah, my Charedi Settler (they happen to live over the Green Line) friends told me that I was a 'Confused Zionist'.  'Real Zionists want to make Aliyah and instead buy Israeli bonds. You sold your Israeli bonds in order to make Aliyah.'  It was the best decision that My family and I could have made. After 10 years, I can see how true that is.