Wow! I haven’t blogged in almost a month. I can attribute that to the pretty basic, non-exciting yet still lovely month I’ve had. The weather was gross, now it’s incredibly gorgeous. You wake up on February 17th and the sun is shining and you throw on a light jacket and as if by Divine intervention Matisyahu is singing “Sunshine” on your iTunes and you head to work. You put in your hours, maybe get a drink after work, wait for a super-short and hectic vacation Friday and eat, socialize and pass out for the 25 hours of Shabbat. And it’s been that way for the last month, give or take. Oh! And my sister got engaged, so that’s pretty fantastic. Have to find something to wear and a part of me wants it to go smoothly and another part of me wants it to be an insane disaster so I can blog about it. More to come. Today’s post is something I’ve been turning over in my mind for months and I don’t know how to even approach it, so if it sounds disjointed, my bad!
This blog was started to document my transition from America to Israel through the process of Aliyah. I think we all know the basics by now.
Who? Me. What? Moving to Israel When? July 1, 2014, Where? Jerusalem (for now) Why? Zionism. And I think if you know me or have followed my journey at all, you know that I’m not some spring chicken hoping to start my adult adventure in a new and exciting place. I lived a nice chunk of young adulthood in NYC and came to this decision relatively “late in life” so to speak. Most of the people in my peer group here in Jerusalem, in my ulpan, on the NBN website, etc, who came here single did so younger than me. It took me a while to decide, to save money, to create a plan and to get up the nerve to make this change. A change I have always contended is for the rest of my life. I was never making this change to “try out” aliyah or to “give it a chance.” I envisioned my great- grandchildren living here (how’s that for forward thinking even before being married?)
But I’ve come to find that this isn’t the case for everyone, and that even my own certainty can be taken to task by skeptical strangers on the Internet.
Some examples: There is a Facebook group for olim- I assume it’s meant to be an online support and information community for those of us who’ve committed to the difficult task of starting life over in Israel. As anyone who is a part of this group knows, it has often devolved into a “I hate Israel” complaint society. Truly, some days there are 5 “life here isn’t worth it”s and “I’m leaving” posts- easy. And then there is a rush to calm the poster down and soothe them and convince them to stay (I’m guessing- I don’t do much follow-up.) Usually I don’t engage, but one time I jumped in to defend my friend who gave this complainer some tough love and suddenly, I was being roasted! When I mentioned that Zionism brought me here, some random guy (who I think actually lives in England) asked me if I was so Zionist, had I renounced my American citizenship, and what kind of a Zionist could I be if I hadn’t served in the IDF. I thought the questions were kind of insane, and a poor barometer of my Zionism. If I love Israel, I have to hate America? Could there never be a family emergency that brought me back to the States? And if I decided to move here as an Orthodox woman past the age of 25, should I beg the army to let me serve? The whole argument was ludicrous, but here I was- having my aliyah judged!