Aliyah served on a silver platter – opinion

Aliyah was served to me on a silver platter. There’s no other way to describe it.

When I was 10 years old and growing up in New York, my family made their first visit to Israel. It was a few years after the Six Day War. On the last night of our trip, an Israeli relative took us to the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Temple Mount.

That’s all my mother needed. The emotional sight, a few hours before our return to New York, led her to swear that she and my father would make aliyah as soon as my father could retire.

A decade later, my father took early retirement and my parents moved to Israel, a semester before I finished college.

After that semester, I joined my parents. Still single, I saved myself from searching for a place to live in Israel when I settled in with my parents until I was married four years later.

NEW IMMIGRANTS from North America receive a welcoming shofar upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on a special ‘aliyah flight’ on behalf of Nefesh B’Nefesh. (credit: FLASH90)

I am a strong advocate for Jews returning to the Jewish homeland. Still, although I have made the concession to have a much lower salary than I am sure I would have earned in the US All these years, I recognize that having the backbone of the family throughout this process, with all my siblings living here, too – has made a difference.

I understand that those whose biggest problem with being part of this historic gathering of exiles has been the inability to understand the division of the family. So, they are left behind. I get it. It is beyond me to question.

I am being asked to write this article now because my wife is currently in the United States, visiting her parents after an absence of two years due to the pandemic.

Through the years, I have walked through Jerusalem to go from work to my parents’ house. For many other people, like my wife, that basic pleasure and commitment to the mitzvah of honoring your parents requires air travel, vacation days, and great expense.

In my earlier and younger years in Israel, I was most proud of the privilege of living in Israel. When I came to New York to get married and we lived for a time in my birthplace, I wrote an article on Jewish week, stating that Jewish life was superficial in the Big Apple, even if it is the Jewish capital of the Diaspora.

When we returned to New York one year for Easter, and refrained from reciting the specific Seder blessings on the second night of the diaspora observance, my in-law grandmother asked why we were being different. I replied, admitting arrogance, that we were observing the holiday as specified in the Torah.

But as the years have passed, not only have I gotten older and perhaps more mature, our parents have also gotten older. My father passed away eight years ago. My mother is affected. But there I am, still walking at the end of a workday from the offices of The Jerusalem Post to se her.

And there is my wife, doing a corona test and traveling 14 hours and wearing a mask on a plane so she can see her parents.

On Shabbat when my wife was away, we read the portion of the Torah that tells of Jacob’s journey out of the homeland, a land that would later receive its name after it was given the name Israel, the name also given to it. gives to our modern state. . While Jacob was away, he married and nearly all of his children were born, continuing the chain and establishing the Children of Israel.

At the end of the weekly serving, Jacob was returning home.

The story is well known. Later, Jacob suffers a long separation from his son Joseph. Jews are exiled and enslaved in Egypt. But eventually, they return as a nation.

It has been a long time since then. We have our modern state, but we are still separate: children who have moved to the State of Israel are leaving their parents behind, and in other cases, parents are making aliyah and leaving their children behind.

As a spoiled olé who has always had his immediate family with him during these years of living in Israel and, thank God, now has children and grandchildren who were born here, I take my hat off to all those who have been separated from their sons. closest loved ones. WhatsApp and Zoom have made my life easier, but since you know better than I do, it is not the same as being there.

There is nothing like a family. There is no place like home. May all our families come home.

The writer is an opinion editor for The Jerusalem Post.

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