As I begin to write this post, I must say that it is truly hard to believe that this week, my family (along with a number of others here in Maale Adumim and beyond) will celebrate our EIGHTH year in Israel, since our Aliya.
In the early days of Summer 2009, after our lift shipped out, we had our final Shabbat in the USA before Aliya; said our tearful goodbyes, and we took part in a convoy of cars to O’Hare airport, to take those first steps towards the East. The five of us boarded the plane with ten suitcases, five carry-ons and crate-loads of dreams for our future.
After fifty years of dreaming, hoping and expecting…it finally came true; we made Aliya on July 7, 2009. And here we are, eight years later. On the one hand it seems like 1,000 years ago, and on the other, it seems like we just arrived. Life has been so wonderful, and we are beyond blessed to be here in the Land of Israel!
So much has happened, and so much has changed over the passed eight years!
On a national level, we have lived through a couple of elections; watched the Light Rail come to be; massive construction on highways and roadways; two “wars,” Shemitta; the Knife Intifada; and, of course, the list can be much longer.
On a personal level, our oldest daughter married, and we recently had our first grandchild. Our second daughter served two years in the IDF, served her country in a three-month stint in Ethiopia and is near to finishing her B.A. Our youngest daughter did two years Sherut LeUmi with special-needs kids, an additional year working with these children through Shalva and spent a year learning in a Midrasha. Andy (my wife) and I have maintained strong ties to our community in Maale Adumim. I have had the opportunity to teach kids and adults for years, and Andy has been helping families with their little children for years, as well. Our biggest loss along the way was the passing of Andy’s mother, a”h, whom we dearly miss.
We love living in Israel and would never give it up for anything. Hashem has been very good to us and has blessed us beyond our wildest dreams.
There are still times that I have to pinch myself to realize that I actually live in Israel. What a great feeling…to have a lifelong dream come true–and it isn’t a nightmare, BH.
Living here, I feel like I am contributing to and helping shape Jewish history. Living in Israel, I no longer feel like a bystander watching history go by. Living in Israel I feel a part of something so much bigger than myself! What a wonderful feeling it is, indeed.
Mazal tov to my family on having reached the 8-year milestone, with prayers that we have MANY more years ahead of us in this Promised Land. Yes, we have our fair share of domestic issues here in Israel. But, I would rather be living here with all of those issues, than any other place in the world.
Mazal tov to all those who made Aliya with us on the same flight, on that hot, July day: The Solats, the Emerguis, the Taylors, the Singers, the Weissbergs and the Zullers. Mazal tov to the 201 new Olim, who landed only this week and to all those who have arrived since the first day that Israel existed and made that leap of faith called “Aliya.”
Looking forward to a great Year Number Nine!