Tuesday, May 21, 2013

No Magic Words, Just a Helping Hand

So there is a great Facebook debate afoot about a blog written for YU's Observer about aliyah being too big a sacrifice to make.

This has been eating at me since I read it.  The reason is that the writer admits that while aliyah is an ideal, many people do not feel that they are really ever going to actually do it, for whatever reason.  I am not upset because of that fact, but I am just trying to figure something out:

How can I explain to people who have not yet made aliyah how great it is?  What magical words can I say, what phrases can I use, what religious issues can I invoke, to suddenly turn on the light bulb above their heads and make them realize that it's the best thing they can ever do for themselves, their families, and their future generations?

The answer is:  Nuttin honey.

This is part of the conversation we olim have all the time - we never thought we could be so happy.  We never thought we'd be OK with this kind of life.  And yet, not only do we not miss our old lives, we desperately want to find a way to bring the rest of our friends and family here so that they can experience this too.

But is there anything we can say?  I doubt it. That's what is so weird.  It wasn't until we got here that we had that realization, so it means THEY have to come here to experience it too....huh...

So I remain frustrated.  I appreciate groups like Nefesh b'Nefesh who made the aliyah process less daunting.  But there is only so much they can do.  What can be done to bring more people to live here?  I have no idea.

I hope that through this blog you non-Israeli readers have had some taste of the wonder of our new life, even with its problems and frustrations. 

So maybe I can do something - offer my help.

If you want to talk to me (and several people have!) about aliyah, I'd be more than happy to discuss any aspect of it.  If you want a friend here to help you have what they call a "soft landing" you've got one.  I'm there for you.  I'll even meet you at the airport and help you through those first confusing days.  I mean it, with all my heart.

I don't have any magic words, but I do have my two hands to hug you when you get here and help you with whatever you need.  And then you'll get it.  Then you'll see what I see.  I can't wait to meet you!


  1. This post officially made me cry, Susan.

    Your heart is beautifully worn on your sleeve throughout your blog and this post just leaves me utterly speechless. Chesed emanates from you and so many of your posts have encouraged & reaffirmed my goal of making Aliyah...making me believe it is possible and that, from the other side, it's worth it--no matter what it takes to get there. G-d willing it shall be sooner rather than later. I look forward to meeting you at the airport. :)

    1. Abigail, thanks so much. I cannot wait to meet you at the airport!

  2. Beautiful, Susan! I am also at a loss as to what to say to my family and friends to convince them to make aliyah. They all accuse us olim of being "snobby" when we talk about aliyah. I'm not being snobby and I don't think I am better than anyone; I simply want everyone that I love to come experience the richness of life here. How can you not be enthusiastic about something you love so much?

  3. Following your blog since some months now, I can reassure you, you ARE doing a lot.

    Warm greetings from Germany, Jenia

  4. You have been so helpful to my dad, thank you so much for patiently answering his questions! We are all looking forward to meeting you during our visit next month:)