Lamentations of an Almost (Hopefully) Olah Chadasha

I sit here alone. Typing. Typing thoughts and feelings. Pondering. I had promised myself long ago that I wouldn’t be here anymore. Yet I still sit here, finding new excuses to delay, new reasons to slightly forget.


When I was fourteen-years-old I had made up my mind that I would one day re-inhabit the land of my forefathers. That I would make the journey to Israel and build my life and my home there. When I was fourteen, the decision seemed obvious. My life here would take its course, and I’d be creating a new life in Israel before I knew it.


Eight years later, I’m deeper in the Diaspora than I would have hoped. I have my Bachelor’s Degree. I have a job at a Jewish nonprofit. I still live at home, but that helps with any expenses I have so that I can save and prepare for my future.


However, what future am I preparing for exactly? An American future? Or the future I had expected of myself eight years ago? Because that future’s already here. There’s no more preparing really. I’m as set as any single girl could be to make aliyah. So why am I still waiting?


“I need to be more set financially, so that I’ll never come back.”


“Maybe my Hebrew’s not good enough.”


“It’d be much much easier if I went with a husband. I should wait for that.”


“I’m still so young.”


“How am I supposed to leave everyone I know, everywhere I know, behind?”


I’m not lessening each of these excuses. And I’m not saying there aren’t more holding any of us back. Of course they’re each worth something in their own right. Aliyah is scary. Moving is scary. Growing up is terrifying.


But, I also have to remember that I have set goals for myself. I’ve had hopes and dreams of a less-fearful albeit less-mature self for years. And who’s to say I’d go and turn my back on them now? That would leave anyone with much regret and unnecessary self-loathing.


Plus, I know deep down that for any proper Jew, it’s the right move to do.


Now, I’m not saying I’m making aliyah tomorrow. That time of easy fearlessness has passed and I missed it. I know I need a set plan before I move at this point. But I do regret that I hadn’t taken the leap when I thought less. I sometimes imagine my life if I had taken the road less travelled by. Because that really could have made all the difference.

About the Author
Melanie Goldberg is a current student at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. She also serves as the research assistant for Versa: The Israeli Supreme Court English Language Repository, and founded a chapter of The Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights on her campus. Most recently, she was one of the recipients of The Jewish Week's "36 under 36" award.
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