Making Aliyah isn't only, at least for me, about moving to
, living the dream, or living as an authentic Jew in the most authentic of Jewish places. You might think that'd give me plenty of reason to move, but it dawned on me in today’s early hours that there's something else going on- something very emotional, very palpable, and deeply personal. See, not every Aliyah story is filled with tears of joy. And not every Aliyah story is filled with the bittersweet push-pull of wanting to stay and go. Sometimes an Aliyah story tells the tale of doors opening, greater self-awareness, and truth. Aliyah is not about running away, but running towards what is good and right. It’s about being honest with yourself, understanding that everyone’s story is different and being ready to move on to the next phase. Its about accepting what you can fix and hoping that you can peacefully accept what is not fixable. It’s about truth and love in the realest of senses. Israel
One of the gazillion questions I've been asked, up there with did you sell the house, where will you live in Israel, and what will you be doing when you're there, is about family- how our families of origin are handling the move. I can tell you that my mother-in-law, though beyond sad, told her son that she can't be angry about our decision because she raised him to want this. I'm not entirely sure who cried more when she uttered those words. Every family has its issues and no one has any right to say that their issues are worse or better than the next person's, but I'll admit to feeling both great respect and a good deal of jealousy when my mother-in-law made that statement. She doesn’t want us to leave but she gets it.
When I’m asked how *my* family, particularly my mom, is dealing with the move, I’m simply not sure what to say. In the 15 years we’ve been in
I’ve been an adult, or at least played one on the local stage, for many years. As a grown up and clinician, I find “parent issues” at all ages to be one of the stickiest of the bunch. I’m not looking to make this post, this period of time, or this point in my life, to be one solely comprised of mother-daughter difficulties. But what I’m learning about this trip, this Aliyah, is that its not just about moving physically or drawing closer spiritually. It’s about respectful separation; understanding what really is and what really cannot be and being the person I can be while understanding from whence I come. I’m not looking to “break up,” as it were, or bash my mother. This trip, this pilgrimage, this journey, is leading me not only to the
Holy Land but to a different level of adulthood. Absence, they say, makes the heart grow fonder, but I also think it can open your heart to greater goodness and empathy. I’m choosing to open my heart with understanding so that I can be an Oleh by rising up, in every sense of the word.