Kollel Torah Mitzion had a party last night for those families making Aliyah from the community this year. And there are actually quite a few!!
They asked me to speak so I quickly wrote down a few words. I promised to post it on my Blog for everyone else to read. SO...enjoy.
The first time I went to Israel, I was 17 years old - and it was probably the most difficult time in my life. My father had passed away a few months before my trip and it was a trip we were supposed to take together - if he got well.
After my father died, I felt an emptiness inside me that I was worried would never be filled. Could never be filled. And that summer, the uncertainty of where my life would lead - was like none I had ever experienced. My parents were divorced, I had lived with my dad, I had started that year at a high school out of town, and wasn't sure if I was homeless....or had many homes.
But I'll never forget when we landed. I'll never forget my first breath of Israeli air. Climbing down the steps from the airplane, seeing the palm trees in the distance, and feeling the blast of hot air. Beautiful, sweet air. Tears were streaming down my face as I knelt and kissed the ground. I had finally come home......
The next few years I seemed to spend back and forth between Israel and the States and everytime I had to leave Israel - I always promised myself, I was coming back. Next time, perhaps for good.
When I was in Israel, I felt complete. Almost. The emptiness was filled. Somewhat. And I always told people that in Israel, I felt almost complete. I was just missing my husband.
I returned to the States after a very fulfilling year at Ben Gurion University where I also had volunteered for the Israeli army and found my potential career path with Magen David Adom. I returned to the States to get certified as an EMT and started dating, got engaged, and married to Shauli. But on one condition - we would make Aliyah.
We made a five year plan which at one point almost disappeared.
People have been telling me for the 11 years that I've had this dream that if I keep pushing it off, it won't happen. They'd tell me their stories, they'd compare themselves to me and say then they got married, had kids, and here they are - 20 years later. And still in America.
But I always said - it won't happen to me. I WILL make Aliyah.
But I can't take credit here. Everything is truly in G-d's hands. Who would have though that the summer Shu and I got married, his siblings Simmy and Golda would make Aliyah. And in the next few years, David, Sarra, and Arye and Aviva would follow!! That's incredible! We now have 4 of our 6 siblings living in Israel, plus one going to seminary there next year. Not to mention 9 nieces and nephews. And they've all moved in the past 5 years.....
This was out of my hands. This was Hashem's plan.
As for our five year plan, Shauli and I will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary in a week and a half.
And IYH, we'll be moving to Israel shortly after.
My dream will come true and I, or we, will finally be complete.