Six years after my conversion to Judaism (more about that later!), three years after my graduation from university and 26 years after I was born, I decided to move to Israel.
Below are some loose thoughts that I wrote on my long aliyah flight to from my home in Vancouver to Tel Aviv just over a year ago. Enjoy!
This is my fifth flight to Israel. Two of my four previous flights have been as a guide for Taglit (free Israel tours for young adults) where I have had to balance my own fatigue with the concurrent need to both inspire and discipline 40 students about to experience Israel for the first time.
My first flight to the Holy Land was as one of these aforementioned participants and my non-Taglit flight was with one of my close friends on my way to a two month army-like program.
On this flight, however, I am focusing on Hebrew flash cards of the top 100 English verbs.
The night before I went to Israel the first time on Taglit, I remember lying awake late at night in a friend’s suburban basement in Toronto questioning myself about how I could go so far away from my family, was it wise?
The answer was a resounding YES, and I have had more travelers’ remorse about purchasing a plane ticket to the USA than I have had about becoming a citizen of the State of Israel.
My dad once told me about my great uncle’s Pub in Ireland. There were small rooms called “snugs” where fathers would go with their sons to enjoy a last few moments together before the son would go to America, often never to return.
Not only will I be back often, I will also be Skyping, texting and video chatting with my family quite regularly. Plus, interested parties can read this blog.
As I am getting closer to Ben Gurion and the absorption circus that awaits, bizarre questions start to arise:
- What if the quirky novelties that I love as a tourist in Israel begin to drive me insane?
- What previous barriers of integration will break down as I begin to perfect my Hebrew?
- Where will I get a bike?
- And most importantly, is לחכות (to wait) pronounced LUH-cha-CHOT or LUH-cha-KOT?
I know these answers lay ahead of me past the customs of Ben Gurion Airport and in the exciting weeks and months that lay ahead of me.
As the saying goes, “the chase is better than the catch,” and, having never ever caught any fish on my many fishing outings (other than a half dead spawning salmon) I couldn’t agree more!
Did YOU make aliyah? Tell me about your flight in the comments below!