Making Aliyah – Whys and Not Whys

My husband and I have wanted to make Aliyah since before we were married. This past Chanukah, we officially started the process. We were hoping to get Home this summer but a number of circumstances, including COVID-19, slowed us down. We’re still in the stage of gathering paperwork and networking for information about communities, parnassah, and schools. And we do hope to get Home sooner rather than later.

       Why are we doing this?

Before I answer that, here’s the list of “not whys.” These are the reasons that we’re NOT using for Aliyah.

We’re not making Aliyah because we think we’ll be safer in Eretz Yisrael. We are well aware of the Jew-hatred going on in Chutz LaAretz and yes, it worries us. But Eretz Yisrael has its share of Jew-hatred. There are terror attacks with injuries and deaths of innocent Jews. However, we never considered this as a reason to NOT go to Eretz Yisrael and we don’t intend to let it stop us.

We’re not making Aliyah because we think life is easier in Eretz Yisrael. We know very well that it’s not easier. We’ll still have issues to face over there and they’re only compounded by a different culture and different mindset. We have to have jobs and a place to live and neither of those come easy. In one Aliyah seminar, the Nefesh B’Nefesh staff said that it takes an average of six months for Olim to find jobs. We need to plan for that.

We’re not making Aliyah because we think it will be easy for our children. We have two teens and a pre-teen and adjusting will not be easy for them. We do think that our sons will thrive in the Israeli school system with its emphasis on skills and well-roundedness but it still won’t be easy for them to adjust. And our daughter is thriving in her school in NY and in her activities and her social life and she’ll have to start from scratch.

We’re not making Aliyah because the obstacles that kept us here are suddenly gone. We’re still making like Nachshon ben Amminadav and the proverbial sea has not yet split. We still have little money and that won’t be easy. We also know others with money obstacles like ours or with family obstacles or other obstacles.

We’re not making Aliyah to prove that we’re pro-Israel. We believe that Medinat Yisrael is a good thing and deserves every bit of support but we agree that living in Chutz LaAretz doesn’t subtract one iota from that.

We’re not making Aliyah to prove that we’re pro-Aliyah. We believe that every Jew who wants to go Home should be able to do so and that Aliyah salespeople need to put their heads together and come up with ways to facilitate that. But we also agree that those who aren’t going Home deserve to be treated with respect, understanding, and sensitivity.

So what reasons are we using?

We honestly feel that Eretz Yisrael is our G-d-given Home and we belong there. Period. 

May Hashem bring us all Home very soon.

About the Author
Meira E. Schneider-Atik is a wardrobe stylist, personal shopper, and writer/blogger. Her goal is to help women feel good about themselves and to dispel the myths about tzniut and dressing well. Her heart is in Eretz Yisrael, but for now, she and her family live in Queens, NY.
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