Coming Home on Aliyah
by Ariella Bracha Waldinger
This article is meant to guide, assist and encourage you in your settling in process
Welcome Home! You have just returned Home…..to THE PALACE OF THE KING! Please be aware that when you enter the Palace, there is a whole new set of rules and realities in operation that you are not aware of.
You are now in the Middle East…in the State of Israel and more importantly in THE HOLY LAND…G-d’s beloved garden. Our Land is our inheritance but the state has only been around for 63 years. It is not perfect but it is ours after thousands of years of exile. For the most part everything operates differently than you are use to and this challenges most everyone. It says that Eretz Yisroel is only acquired through suffering. That means those who have the courage to make ALiyah merit going through the sacred waters of the mikveh through the challenges that arise. These challenges large and small are tests meant to refine us. In order to successfully and more quickly overcome our challenges, there are two traits that must be acquired. They are patience and humility. Patience… to fully understand that G-d runs the world and decides the timing of everything and humility…. to know there is a reason behind everything and that reason has nothing to do with you. This takes you out of the center i.e. ego.
Rabbi Meir Auberach of Kalish writes, “And the gold of the Land is good..there is no good like the Torah of Eretz Yisroel” Sifrei, Eikev. This good is always available to us but we must acquire new eyes of clarity to see past all that is happening in our lives. This is where the community is to be relied upon… to help you understand what is going on. This is where one must use their voice to ask questions and gather facts and seek help from the community. This experience of asking for help and being open to receive the wisdom of life in Israel builds up our nationhood as one family. Chesed is circulated and this brings sustenance and blessings to the world.
Eretz Yisroel is the center of Keddusha for the entire world. Bamidbar Rabba 23 says…HaKadosh Baruch Hu said: Eretz Yisroel is more beloved to me than everything. Understanding this means we have to operate from a place of protecting what is so dearly beloved of G-d. We do this by guarding our speech and thoughts i.e. what we say about the country and the people.
Most everything operates differently in Israel and it takes getting use to. Emotions are natural during the settling in process as change creates inner upheaval. Don’t get upset if you cannot find your favorite product or brands….there are new ones to replace the old ones. Allow yourself to grieve for what you miss but create new eyes for what is available here. Make time to comfort yourself.
The Ben Ish CHai commenting on the Gemara in Ketubot 112 says that every man must guard his tongue and mouth against any negative utterance, condemning even one cubit of Eretz Yisroel, whether its air, its weather, its fruit or its buildings and certainly not its people which is Lashon Hara AND IS FORBIDDEN.
Israel IS REAL! This definer of the Land and the people requires the biggest adjustment for most people. Israelis are in your face and they are real and they do not hide behind a façade. They are very strong! WE too must learn to be strong and operate from a place of strength.
One of the most important rights of passage, so to speak is THE VITAL ABILITY TO USE YOUR VOICE FROM A PLACE OF STRENGTH. This acquisition will enable you to get your needs met.
The main cause of distress for most people in the process of settling in is the unknown, as well as a lack of understanding as to how life operates in Israel. We all come with our own set of beliefs and values and when things don’t measure up to our standards, we tend to go in judgment. We take our chutz la’aretz understanding and judge what occurs against OUR standards and understanding. This gets us into the Blame game and into judgments, criticism and negativity. We want to avoid this at all costs because we want to learn to act in
a way that G-ds name becomes beloved through our behavior. This brings great blessings to our nation.
The key to a happy, successful and less stressful settling in is as follows:
1) Awaken and recognize where you are..Moshe wasn’t allowed to come into the land and you are here!
2) Slow down! It’s a process and it takes time.
3 )Don’t make assumptions…Ask questions and communicate as clearly as you can.
4) Speak with respect and integrity to each person….we are family and it makes G-d happy when we get along.
5) Don’t take things personally. Nothing others do is to cause you suffering. It’s not about you.
6) Strive to settle in with Shalom as your Value!
7) You have lots of people who have gone through this process and will help you with answers to your questions. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Devarim 11:12 says THE HOLY ONE, BLESSED BE HE SAID: ERETZ YISROEL IS MORE BELOVED TO ME THAN ANYTHING. You have returned home to make your personal contribution to building up Our Holy Land. It is an awesome Blessing and with that Blessing comes a privileged responsibility to act with constant devotion and diligence to abide by the laws of our Holy Torah!…..our blueprint and guide.
SO, I Bless you to drink in the beauty of the Land and the people. Look with good eyes on our people and keep your eyes and ears open to see all the good that goes on in G-ds beloved garden. May you see the Hand of G-d in all your undertakings and may your life shine with simple miracles. Be clear that G-d is rejoicing in your returning home and eagerly awaits the depositing of your own personal gifts i.e. your talents into the soil and air of His garden. May you bloom in exquisite ways
and be refreshed by all the good that awaits you by living in The Holy Land.