"It's time to put an end to your trek through the stars"
Q (All Good Things...)
I read an editorial in the Jerusalem Post today claiming that because of the Birthright program, more and more young Jews today identify themselves as “Jewish” through their attachment to
, not through attachment to the culture or religion or history of the Jewish people. Israel
I can’t remember when I established an attachment to
. It seems always to have been there. I read Leon Uris’s ‘Exodus’ in the summer between Grades 6 and 7 and knew then that I wanted to live Israel, eventually. When I first came to Israel two weeks before my 18th birthday, I planned to spend some time here, go back to the old country, continue my education, and one day, when everything was in place, come back to live. It took me about 10 days after first arriving to decide that Israel was home, and that there was no going back. Israel
Which makes it kind of ironic that I never actually made Aliyah.
I stayed on, first as a volunteer on a kibbutz, then studying in University, followed by working, getting married, having kids, living a life.
But the whole packing and saying goodbye, landing at
and kissing the ground thing passed me by. I was never greeted by a Jewish agency agent, never had a lift of all my worldly possessions arrive, and never had a free taxi ride anywhere in my life. Ben-Gurion Airport
Don’t get me wrong. I’m an Israeli citizen, pay taxes, vote in municipal and national elections, and have an Israeli passport.
|Jerusalem in the winter|
Watching the pictures on the nightly news, I sighed thinking that all I got in the way of ceremony was a clerk giving me bizarre looks.
Nonetheless, I celebrate the homecoming of these new Israelis. The more the merrier! I wish them all the luck and happiness in their new/old homeland.
—Book of Ezekiel 20:41-42
The words of the prophets are coming true before our eyes. Our people are gathering from the ends of the earth and are coming home. Our trek through the stars is beginning to come to an end.
The second incident is a bit more personal.
For many years, I was the only member of my immediate family to have made my life in
. As my and my siblings’ families grew, the distance between us seemed to grow also. Our lives were taking different paths, and it was sometimes hard to hold on to the things that made us family. Israel
But as time passes, and we grow older, and the kids grow up, the distance between me and my siblings is closing, as they are coming to visit more often, and their kids are beginning to make aliyah.
My oldest niece made Aliyah on one of those ground-kissing, balloon-giving Nefesh B’Nefesh flights. Like me, she married here, and this week gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. These babies are the first of their generation, my mother’s first great-grandchildren. A new generation, returned from exile, born in
How wondrous to be a witness to the miracles of G-d bringing His people back to their Land in all ways and in all manners.
May this new generation grow in the Land in happiness and health, with joy and loving kindness, in honor and dignity, and in peace.