Yoni Spigelman
Follow Our Journey Home

Aliyah Diary: Part 2

The Beginning
Today we traveled to Washington DC to go to the Israeli Consulate. Of course, our appointment was at 9:30 in the morning, meaning we needed to wake up at like 6:00am (for my children, that is an UNGODLY hour), and had to be out of the door by 7:30… After a minor tussle, and two pullings off of blankets. We finally got the girls dressed, fed, and into the car. The drive was unexciting (Thank God) and minus a little bit of traffic (yaaaay DC), we made it in pretty good time.
If you ever have to go to an embassy in DC, make sure NOT to ask the security guards where to park, because if you park where they tell you… You’ll get a nice ticket to accompany you with your lovely trip to the Nation’s Capitol. The people you SHOULD ask are the cops…they actually know where to tell you to go.
The consulate appointment was a little bit more exciting. Tired, kvetchy girls, and Israeli consulate shenanigans make for one REALLY fun morning… (Yeaaaah… Fun morning…). It was pretty stressful, but then of course, in the end, we left being like best friends with the Israeli staff who helped us out. None of the staff that we interacted with were religious, but there were so many Baruch Hashem’s, Be’Ezrat Hashem’s, and wishes of Hatzlacha being thrown around that it almost sounded like you were socializing with your friends at Shul.
The appointment took about an hour and then we headed home.
During the meeting, the lady behind the glass (on the other side of the desk) asked me when we started planning to move to Israel. My answer to her… Always.
This journey towards making Israel our home, of returning to Eretz Yisroel, and with God’s help spending the rest of our lives there started way before our actual Aliyah planning of this year. Our Aliyah journey started even before our children were born, heck it started before we were married. Honestly, both Tali and I have been planning on making Aliyah since we were teenagers.
For those who know me, or have even spoken to me more than once, and asked me what my plan was for any given summer, my response has been “we are planning on making Aliyah.” I have said this for years, and every year, I meant it. I have been planning on making Aliyah ever since my first visit to Israel in 6th grade.
When I was about eleven years old, my father took Dovi (my younger brother) and I to Israel to attend my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. It was shortly after my grandparents moved to the Holy Land, and I just remember the trip being mostly awesome (the part where I got a rock thrown at my head by some Chassidish kid for no reason wasn’t so awesome, but the rest of the trip was great!) We had many great moments on that trip, but there is one moment that has stuck with me ever since. Heck, we weren’t even in Israel yet. We were still on the plane coming in for a landing at Ben Gurion. It was the moment that I looked over at my father, and watched him looking out the window with tears welling up in his eyes. My father kept repeating two words over, and over again. He kept saying “I’m home.”
This was such a powerful moment for me. As far away as we were from Baltimore, as far from our physical home as we were, my father taught me something that day. Israel is home. And it has been that way for me ever since.
Ever since then, I have been wanting, desperately yearning to get back home. It is crazy to think about how in just a couple of weeks from now, I will be able to truly call Israel home!!
Love you all,
About the Author
My family and I made Aliyah in August this past summer. A few weeks before we made Aliyah, I began a small Facebook blog, just to share our experiences, good and bad. I then upgraded to WordPress. In the blog, I share about everyday life as an Oleh Chadash in Israel. I share about our wins and our struggles with adapting to our new life here in the Holy Land.
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