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Sunday, October 26, 2003

I'm moving to Israel!!!!!

I can't believe it, it's really happening.

I have spent the past 3 years pushing the message of Aliyah. I believe deeply as a spiritual matter, and understand it to be the right thing as a logical matter, and because I feel so strongly about this issue I have tried to share my vision (our vision) with my brothers and sisters. I meet people, I talk about Aliyah, about Israel, about the beauty and the problems and the personal issues people have and I share my absolute conviction that Israel is home.

But now it's happening to me. I'm going home and it's one of the most profound experiences of my life.

It's a very emotional time. I was born in America and have never spent more than a month and a half at a time outside of this place. I speak English fluently - and that's about it. I can ask my mother-in-law if she wants tea in Russian, but I don't think that counts. I understand and speak a miniscule bit of Hebrew, but I get exhausted trying to translate other people's conversations in my head, and it usually takes me about 60 seconds to piece a 4 word sentence together. So I'm kind of afraid. I know I'll take Ulpan, but it's just a scary notion. Of course, my grandparents didn't speak a word of English when they got off the boat from their DP camp in Germany, and they didn't use Hungarian to get around the streets of New York - they learned English! So they inspire me to become fluent in Hebrew.

Also, leaving my family is a big deal. I wouldn't say I'm closer to my family than the average person, but it's still hard. They say they'll worry about me all the time in Israel, but I'm going to worry about them too. Are they well? Is Osama coming back for another round somewhere else in America? Is everyone doing alright? The worry goes both ways. I'm also leaving a lot of friends - not for long, I hope! I ask myself what kind of lives will they achieve? Will America take care of them like Israel would? Will they be happy? Will I see them again? Deep down, I know I will. It just happens - they will come to Israel to live or to visit and I will visit the States. And let's not forget that revolutionary tool, the telephone. It's going to be alright.

And there's packing - putting everything into boxes to move to a new home in the Middle East! Wrapping up memories of a life that will never be the same, giving away appliances that can't be used in Israel - I have an alarm clock that has been with me in every home I've ever had since I was 5. American clocks don't work in Israel - bye, bye, faithful friend. It's really sad. And deciding what items are worth bringing and which should stay behind is really hard - what is worthy of coming to the Holy Land, what should stay in Galut, I actually feel like I'm hurting the feelings of the items that have to stay behind.

But on the other hand I am utterly thrilled. Landing in Israel as a citizen of the Jewish State will be one of the greatest achievements of my life, and the culmination of the dreams of all of my ancestors since the beginning of time (if my parents don't know it yet, it's their dream, too). I am ready to take on my new life and all the challenges that come with it - I'm sure it will be even better than I have ever expected.


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