In the spirit of efficiency and wanting to say more about each topic than I have time to write, I’m tying three topics into one. So, as we say here in the Holy Land ya’alah:
Mazal tov, Prince Harry is a chosson, engaged to the lovely Meghan Markle of Los Angeles, California. She is best known for her role as Rachel in the popular television show, Suits.
It started with a blind date. They met up a couple of times in London and from there, dated long distance for the rest of their courtship, jumping through the hoops of demanding schedules and different time zones. In a recent BBC interview, the couple was asked how they managed to develop their relationship despite the evident challenges. Markle answered, “ It was just a choice. I think that very early on, we realized that…we had to invest the time and energy and [do] whatever it took to make [it] happen.”
In other words, there were logistics involved, and they decided that those logistics, as unconducive as they were to their day-to-day lives, were worth it.
This reminds me of a conversation I had a week earlier with the creator of the popular webseries, Soon By You, Leah Gottfried.
With the intention of writing an article about dating and aliyah, I called Gottfried to ask her a few questions about the last episode, which found its two protagonists caught in an aliyah-related stymie. Sarah is strongly in favor, while David is content with his life right where it is. However, as the conversation continued, and Gottfried extrapolated upon the background behind the conflict, I realized that my article was heading in a new direction.
While she’s received plenty of feedback from viewers along the lines of hey, that happened to me, she didn’t choose the aliyah dilemma because of its popularity, but rather for its ability to present “what happens when two people connect right away and yet, there are logistical pieces that aren’t lining up.”
From the outset, Sarah and David shared a lot in common: they seem to be on the same page in terms of religious observance, they appreciate each other’s sense of humor and ability to quote Emerson by heart, and simply enjoy one another’s company. For anyone who’s dated long enough to know that dating isn’t all roses and walks in the park, you know that this combination is like the triple-threat of dating, and could very well signal a very welcome end to an era. So, if everything but one piece, as important as it is, doesn’t match up, is that a reason to throw in the towel right away?
I don’t have an answer. Where and how aliyah fits into the aliyah-minded person’s life is up to each one to decide on their own. That being said, it’s an interesting dilemma to address, and one that’s worth thinking about in greater depth.
When we set out to create lives in line with our values and build a meaningful, life-long relationship simultaneously, what do we need to know in order to make that happen? I feel safe assuming that any person who’s stuck to their values and goals in full-force will tell you, it comes at a price. Not in a bad way – everything comes at a price, really; in some areas we’re so clear on what matters to us most that the related prices don’t feel costly. Instead of going for all-or-nothing, successful people negotiate – they give, get, and create new solutions that satisfy both people. When we’re clear – with ourselves and others – on what matters most and the prices we’re willing to pay, the challenges along the way become “just” logistics; the imperfect puzzle pieces that we turn up, around, and upside down in order to actualize our most precious hopes and aspirations. When life gets complex, we’re able to answer without much hesitation, “it was just a choice.”
What will be with Sarah and David? Episode 5 of Soon By You premieres today at JCC Manhattan. Keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page for the online release.