HaDassah Sabo Milner

Aliya Is Still Happening

I have lost count of the comments / emails / phone calls that have assumed that now that Israel is under attack that I will be preventing my son from making Aliya in the summer. Now that a ground war is imminent, I will prohibit him from joining the IDF and I will keep him here in NY, safe and sound.

No. I will not.

Aliya and army service are not fair weather activities only. If someone is a Zionist and wishes to live in and serve their country – that does NOT change when there is a war on. If anything, I have to work hard to keep him here, rather than flying out and signing up early. We have a plan, we’ll stick to it. They started this war without him – but he will be needed when he gets there.

I am not being cavalier with his life. I am hearing story after story of the young men and women called to their units, being told they will be part of the ground incursion if there is one.  I cannot imagine the fear that is in the hearts of all these parents as they send their (grown-up) children off to war. But when one is an Israeli, this is an accepted part of life. Does it make it easy? Of course not – but these soldiers were raised to do their duty.

Israel exists today because of the brave men and women of the IDF – those who gave their lives and those who fought in all our wars. I am proud of every single one of them. When my son has joined up, I will be proud of him for that too.

I am proud that my boy has that fire in him, that burning desire to live amongst his people, to serve his country. I wish I had had it at his age. I do now – but life has got in the way of my aliya. It will happen. But not now.

Of course, I hope and pray that the current conflict is well and truly over by the time my son arrives – I pray it ends this week, but I continue to pray for the safety of everyone in Israel.

About the Author
HaDassah Sabo Milner is a Welsh Jew who lives in Monsey NY. She is a writer and a blogger and a lifelong foodie, and works in the local court's system. She's married with four sons who provide her with much fodder for her writing projects. HaDassah's oldest son made aliyah in Aug 2013, and her second son joined him in July 2014. Son #3 made Aliyah in August 2016 .Son #4 is a volunteer EMT and an entrepreneur and has no plans currently for aliyah.