In addition to ranting about troubles, it''s vital to celebrate milestones. Although, one person’s blessing is another person’s challenge, every aliyah anniversary my family merits to celebrate is a great gift.


I. To wit, my family’s passage to elevation began more than seven years ago, b’ayin tova, with the following letter to an immigration organization. Our letter read;


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Dear (Olim Organization):


My husband is currently in Bangalore, India. He works for an international company. If he does not fly home by way of Jerusalem, for an interview with that company’s Jerusalem office, he will be home, Please G-d, by Wednesday night.


Meanwhile, Thursday, in the early a.m., I am due to take a train to Washington D.C. to present a paper at a meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society. I will be back in New Jersey, B’ezrat Hashem, just before Shabbot. Thus, my partner and I will first be able to talk, Motzi Shabbot about our more concrete aliyah plans.


To that end, this application, which I am faxing, is incomplete. My husband has all of our financial papers as well as has the data for his pages. I filled out the pages for myself and for our children. Thank you for your understanding. I hope I included the correct content.


By the way, if my husband gets the Jerusalem job, he has been told, by people within his organization, to expect half of his current salary. I hope we qualify, through you, for some funding. We will need help paying for tutors and for getting our appliances hooked up. I anticipate that when we will be living at twice the price, on half the salary, we will have to make many economic adjustments. Yet, it will be wonderful to have to do so!


You can contact me at my email address or at home. I look forward to finishing all of the forms, to opening our tik and soon, thereafter, to making aliyah.


PS: All of us have passports. As well, today, a shipping fellow, one who has helped other olim from our neighborhood, gave us an estimate. I hope we are taking the right steps.




II. After arriving in this Holy Land, I wrote a letter to a rabbi who had been helping my family with our aliyah process. That letter stated;


As I unpack boxes, I find many wonderful surprises. One surprise was a letter I wrote to you during 5762 detailing some of the challenges (relational, health, spiritual etc.), which The Boss sent to my family shortly after we became fully frum.

I am happy to report to you that HaKodesh Baruch Hu has seen fit to send us many more tests. In the interval between my last letter and our setting our feet here, I''ve lost more pregnancies, had more hemorrhages, had pneumonia twice, once very, very severely, witnessed my children suffer social hurt, and much more. Our house, in the States, flooded, certain of our friends died, others of our friends contacted serious illnesses. We’re so lucky, b’li ayin hora, to have merited these tests.

The Aibishter has allowed us, BH, to move here, home, Jerusalem, eleven months ago. What’s more, two weeks ago, we bought our own apartment in Jerusalem! My husband, my children, and I go on growing in our Torah lives. We try to live through chesed and through learning. We have an abundance of opportunities. In addition, we are surrounded by like-minded people. We are extremely grateful.

Whereas life continues to challenge us, we choose to do our best to live joyously. No one is guaranteed happiness; everyone has a chance, though, to pick elation. We, not our circumstances, determine whether or not we live with day-to-day pleasure. We elect whether or not we put sorrow into perspective or let it jerk us around. It remains in our power to emphasize not the glum bits, but the entirety of bliss.




III. Finally, if I were to write a letter, today, about my family’s klita, it might read as follows;


Dear Loved Ones,


By framing commonplace moral dilemmas in a border of gratitude, we can succeed in illuminating those gifts, from above, which ordinarily, at best, are dimly perceived. All of the regular tribulations that texture our days and nights, including, but not limited to, child rearing, job seeking, and attaining proper medical care, could, has v’shalom, become our focus if we neglect to keep our “eyes on the prize,” that is, if we fail to remember how wonderful it is to have the opportunity to live in the Holy Land.


Sure, facticity’s route toward freedom, individuals’ battle with collective mores, and the unfinished nature of human problem solving can trip us up. I think Torah records just six faultless individuals. The point, though, is that we unintentional students of humanity, we accidental espousers of ideals, we imperfect sops, all of us can partner with The Boss in cosmic mysteries such as childbirth and agriculture. What’s more, we can engage in those efforts from Earth’s most supernal piece of real estate, Eretz Yisrael.


Even when our prayers seem to be mere sing-song amplified by the authentic desires of our human qualities, those heart-sprung words continue to be a legitimate kind of reaching upward. We need not succumb to becoming wearied from bad news. It is possible to laud all that is good in our lives while concurrently being tested. What matters is how we develop as individuals and how we use our learning to aid the Klal and to be obedient to Hashem. “Meek,” as referred to in Torah, always meant “deferential,” not “feeble.”


In some locations, particularly in our ancient home, it is easier to integrate our muddy ideas with Torah’s clear perspective. Here, historic and contemporary notions become unambiguous. Whereas I believe that most of us, myself especially, have yet to learn all of the answers for we hunt, in this day and age when convergent media gobble up souls, it’s imperative that we do everything we can to insure our wellbeing. Aliyah is among the items that top that list.


Granted, the magnitude of the privilege of living in Israel, if we are to be deeply honest, persists on being incomprehensible. More importantly, however, that prospect stays invaluable to our individual and collective continuity. Today is a good time to come home.

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