The Aliyah Post
I couldn’t post anything just prior to making aliyah, because I was too busy prepping for aliyah. I couldn’t post anything just after making aliyah, because I was too busy making aliyah. I am still very busy, but I am grateful to finally be able to make the time to sit down and write.
Having been inspired by Laura Ben David’s book “Moving Up: An Aliyah Journal”, I recorded the first few days upon arrival. I decided not to post them as blog posts. This isn’t an aliyah blog and I don’t think the entries are terribly interesting to most of you, my readers. But they are now posted here if you do want to read them.
I cannot comprehend that it has already been three weeks. It just doesn’t seem possible. So much has gotten done, and so much has not.
Our lift arrived in our house ten days after our arrival. Although it didn’t contain much furniture, and therefore it didn’t swallow up the house, or help us feel moved in a whole lot. Most of our bureaucratic paperwork is done. The kids have teudat zehut numbers, the bank account is up and running, school registration is done and school supplies have even been purchased.
We have very little furniture, and no oven. We also are getting around in a borrowed car which has been a lifesaver and the key to anything else that has worked since we got here!
But what about our hearts and minds? Are they moved in? I think, miraculously, they are.
Each of the children has made friends. Everyone has gone on at least one sleepover except for my four year old. We feel that the choice of Neve Daniel was so right, and that we have just “clicked” with several different families. Everyone has been wonderful. I often drive the boring routine route of a SAHM with errands and camp schedules, and think to myself “I can’t believe I get to live here.” And I hope that feeling never subsides.
Ask anyone who has ever gone on shlichut from Israel to another country, and they will tell you that they loved it, that they had a wonderful experience, that the community was great – so great to them – and they are richer for the experience. But it wasn’t home.
Our friends who were there for us when we left Israel twelve years ago are the ones who termed our important mission to the US as “shlichut”. We were leaving Israel for a defined period of time with a clear(ish) mission to be as central a part of my stepson’s life as possible while he was growing up. We always saw our time in America that way, and it always felt that way.
I cannot imagine having landed in a more warm and special spot than Twin Rivers, New Jersey. But now we feel like we have finally come home.
The transition for our children has certainly been a different one. I don’t know that they could have perceived our time in the US as shlichut no matter how hard they tried, given it was their only reality. Each child is having their up days and down days – lots and lots of anxiety about school which looms only two weeks away- and challenges with the language, not to mention the lack of a sofa to sit down and read on!
Yet they all have unequivocally expressed that this is home. This week each child has let me know that they are impatient for furniture.
They have no idea just what a fabulous sign that is.