“We shall surely go up and take possession of it, for we can surely overcome it.”
In honor of Parshat Shlach – and in honor of the fact that this year is 5771, which, as you may recall, stands for Tehei Shnat Aliyah Artzah - here are two slightly-edited excerpts from when Ilana-Davita interviewed me last summer (as part of her series on Israeli bloggers), as well as several updates.
When and why did you decide to make aliyah?
During our first date, YZG and I discovered that we each dreamed of eventually making aliyah. We had both spent a considerable amount of time in Israel and felt very comfortable here. But most of all, we were – and, of course, very much still are! – motivated and inspired by Religious Zionism.
When the CTO was born, we decided that the time had come to make concrete plans.
My family had spent a two-year sabbatical in Israel when I was in elementary school, and so I had firsthand experience of moving to Israel as an older child. We didn’t want our kids to have to go through that, and so we resolved that we would make aliyah before the CTO started school.
Baruch Hashem, everything fell into place, and we were able to come the summer before he entered first grade.
Update – June 2011: After this interview first appeared, a number of readers asked if I was suggesting that making aliyah with school-age kids is too difficult/unfair/traumatic and should be avoided at all costs?
Here’s my response:
- Absolutely not! Making aliyah with kids requires advance planning and hard work, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be a very positive experience. (Hmm. Maybe I should write a post about making aliyah with school age children? What do you think?)
- And the proof is that although the first year of that two-year sabbatical was admittedly very challenging for me, in no way did it diminish my love for Israel or my desire to live here. Quite the opposite, in fact. After all, YZG and I moved here as soon as we could…
Why did you choose your specific community?
About a year and a half before our aliyah, we decided to purchase a home in Israel. We felt that owning something would force us to actualize our aliyah plans. To that end, we came on a pilot trip and looked around.
Ironically, we had a very different type of community in mind for most of that trip. However, we were having a difficult time finding a specific house or apartment which would fit our needs. And so, our Israeli relatives recommended that we check out our current neighborhood, and the rest is history… :-)
Update – June 2011: In fact, this is one of those Hashgachah (Divine Providence) stories, which are such an integral part of life in Israel.
You see, the truth was that we actually ignored our Israeli relatives’ recommendation for the first three-quarters of that pilot trip.
But then one day, YZG was driving and “accidentally” made a “wrong” turn.
After realizing his “mistake,” he noticed a sign for our current community and – purely out of curiosity - decided that since he was driving by anyway, he might as well go see this place that our relatives kept talking about…
And thus, to make a long story short, we were well on our way to having the incredible privilege, BA”H, of owning a home in Eretz Yisrael.
How cool is THAT?
“The Land is very, very good.”
!שבת שלום ומבורך