There were different aliya movements throughout the course of Jewish history. The earliest massive wave of Aliya was when the Jews, who were freed slaves, entered Canaan from Egypt. Flash forward, to the early 1900’s leading to 1948, the rebirth of the modern state of Israel with Jews pouring in through all over the world especially in Eastern Europe and the Arab world. Now I have endured my own personal Aliya phase again when I returned to Israel after mass promoting Israel in the states. The desire to move and settle in Israel can be very daunting but very rewarding to have the comfort and knowledge that you are a Jew living among your own people in the only Jewish Homeland.
The story of Passover teaches us the value of redemption and freedom for all of mankind. The Jews went from slavery to freedom, from tribes to a nation, and from a confused people to a people with a vision and a destiny. The Jewish people went through 40 years in the desert to fully understand the true meaning of being a freed and proud nation. Even though their leader and guide Moses died before entering the holy land, Moses passed on to the Jewish people, another brave soul, Joshua, who would instill the passion and commitment to cross the Jordan River and retake the holy land from the barbaric Canaanites. Each Passover, Jews worldwide celebrate the miracles and wonders God bestowed upon the Jewish people in order to grant them their freedom from the shackles of Egyptian rule.
During the early 1900’s with the rise of antisemitism and pogroms against the Jews of Europe and Russia, the cry for a Jewish state was heard once again. Jews from all different professional fields, traveled to Palestine to rebuild a Jewish homeland. The ingathering of the Jewish people was occurring after so many years of living in a diaspora community across the world. The Jewish people braved the British forces and the Arab armies poised to destroy any hope for a state of Israel to exist. Through sweat, bravery and faith, the Jewish people withstood the various threats and created the modern state of Israel in 1948.
In 2015, I returned to Israel after being away in America. I resettled in Tel Aviv and I helped Israelis and foreigners understand the intricate election debates, the various threats facing Israel, and why making Aliya is vital to the State of Israel. Witnessing fellow Jews on the street wishing each other happy holidays and talking about different Jewish customs made me so proud to be back in the only Jewish country. Helping tourists and new immigrants adjust to life and finding housing or religious services for holidays made me more proud to know I am contributing to this vast timeline of Aliya. Waking up in the morning and finding your fellow roommate praying with his Tallit and Tefillin while your other Israeli room mate is discussing his academic studies in Israel makes you feel so joyful to know you are truly among your own people. Finally, seeing Israelis speed down the road and push one another in line while ripping you off on taxi rides, makes you realize that only God is keeping this country intact. During Aliya day, a national holiday to celebrate these historical waves of aliya, I walked around the first Prime Minister David Ben Gurion’s house while listening to the former ambassador and newly made Israeli politician Michael Oren speak about how his Aliya strengthened him and pushed him to defend Israel diplomatically, shows just how powerful the concept of Zionism and Aliya truly is. Aliya is still vibrant and alive in the 21st century and the Jewish people are flowing back to their ancestral homeland.
This week the holiday of Passover will be celebrated around the world where every Jew will celebrate their freedom while remembering their first ancient Aliya experience. The concept of Aliya is immortal just like the Jewish people who will always follow their divine call to return home. Anti Semitism is at an all time high in Europe along with the threat of radical Islam, European Jewry is flocking back to Israel. Many American Jews question if America will remain safe while their president is signing off an agreement with the most dangerous terror sponsoring country in the world Iran. The relative few Jews of the Arab world are also thinking to emigrate to Israel due to the rise of ISIS and the Iranian military expansion into other Arab countries. I, along with my fellow new olim are helping to improve the country while aiding each other with our various skills in order to make Israel a better society. The concept of Aliya will never die and every Jew should experience his own modern Passover with the knowledge that the Jewish homeland is still standing proudly waiting with open arms to welcome in our Jewish brothers and sisters with our proud blue and white army guarding our borders.