Making aliyah is a huge undertaking. I married my husband with promises of making aliyah, but before we knew it, 18 years had passed and we still lived in the United States. We finally made the move this year and I can attest to the intense experience of aliyah. As challenging as it is as a single to uproot your life and move to a new country with a new language and way of life, it is a much more difficult transition with children and after having spent nearly two decades as a family in America.
Although I didn’t make aliyah as a single, I really believe that it is the way to go for so many people. It is common to wait – wait until after you graduate, wait until after you meet someone, wait until after the wedding, etc. However, so many people do not end up going because life gets in the way. They get tied to a career, they are set up with people who are not aliyah-minded, they get distracted or lose their motivation, despite really feeling the pull to make aliyah.
If not now, when? If you really value living in Israel and are thinking of making aliyah, the chances are that your soul mate is thinking about it too. They may be from another state or country or continent, and you are meant to meet in the Holy Land. If you wait to make aliyah until you get married, you may be waiting a long time, or you may end up negotiating on your ideal of making aliyah as time passes.
We all know someone who was gung-ho about aliyah but as time went on, and the dating period of their lives stretched out year after year, they grew less and less convinced. With well-meaning family, friends and matchmakers asking “is it really so important to you to make aliyah?” in the hopes of convincing them to be open-minded, they let go of their dream and stayed where they were for far longer than they imagined, if not long-term. They did not fulfill their dream, and may regret it decades later.
So why should you choose a different path? Why choose to uproot your life while single versus waiting until after marriage? You should want to live your best life now. Don’t put off something that you value and that will significantly positively impact your life until an uncertain date in the future. Become the best version of yourself now. You can’t put your life on hold until you find your soul mate.
Singles don’t put their life on hold in other spheres – they still go to college and graduate school, work on their career, take internships, travel, take care of themselves, pursue hobbies, etc. This is something important to you and is part of your life’s goals, so it is something you should pursue whether you are married or not.
The experience of making aliyah will help you grow as a person and hopefully become closer to the person that your soul mate is ready to be with and marry. Aliyah is a challenging event and can be a huge source of personal and spiritual growth. By making aliyah, you show that you want to be here and stay forever. Just saying it isn’t enough. Actions speak louder than words. By making the commitment, you are cementing your values and ideals and putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak. You are showing your commitment to living in the Holy Land.
Another reason to make the decision to go while still single is that moving to Israel, or anywhere, is much easier to do before you are married with kids. You have less stuff, less attachments, less decisions to make, etc. You are not yet weighed down with as many responsibilities and obligations. If you put aliyah off until you get married, you are choosing to move across the world during a very sensitive period of your life – the first year of marriage. Shana rishona, the first year, can be a stressful period of getting to know each other and figuring out how to be married. A huge move in the middle of that can be a lot to handle, and it may cause you to push it off.
Your soul mate may already be in Israel waiting for you to take that leap. It could be that the sheer act of aliyah is what helps you to meet your mate. Aliyah numbers are very high right now. The paperwork process is taking longer because of the number of new immigrants. It is better to get started sooner so you don’t get delayed. We have no idea when our soul mate is coming. This isn’t something we can control. But aliyah... that’s something that is within our control. We can choose the time to go. Choose the path that speaks to your heart.
May you find the right person at the right time, in the right place!
The writer is a professional dating coach, author, speaker, and an expert in soul mate clarity. She helps marriage-minded singles in a relationship go from uncertainty and overwhelm to finding the clarity they need to confidently determine whether this is the one or if they should be done. MarriageMindedMentor.com