Author Topic: About making aliyah  (Read 1885 times)

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Offline Yaakov Mendel

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About making aliyah
« on: June 17, 2010, 02:01:34 PM »
Shalom,

I have a big personal question for the diaspora Jews on this forum : why have not you made your aliyah ?

Since I ask the question, it is fair that I give my own answer. My main problem, as far as aliyah is concerned, is that my wife is not Jewish and she does not want to live in Israel. Why my wife is not Jewish ? That’s a long story…Without going into detail, let me just say that I grew up in one of those secular families of Jewish descent and I was not raised as an observant Jew. Being Jewish did mean something to us emotionally and in terms of tradition and culture, but there was no religious dimension. I came back to judaism later on in my life, at a time when I was already married – to a wonderful woman by the way, even if she is not Jewish…

Now I have faith and I am an ardent zionist. I would love to make aliyah but things are complicated for me given my family situation. I am absolutely not complaining, G-d has blessed me with a wonderful wife and a wonderful daughter and has let His light shine onto me, so I would never dare complain about anything. But I feel alienated. I know that, as a Jew, I belong in the Holy Land and I feel guilty of staying in Exile instead of living side by side with my fellow Israeli Jews and fighting for Israel alongside them. From where I stand, my contribution can only be minor and I feel bad about it. Hopefully, G-d will help me find a way. It’s going to be hard to convince my Christian wife to make aliyah, though… Damn it !
So, as you can see, in my case, not having made aliyah yet results from a mixed marriage, which, in turn, is the product of assimilation in exile.

P.S. : I probably won't be getting my emails tomorrow so I am sorry if I can't respond to anyone.

Offline muman613

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Re: About making aliyah
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2010, 02:22:39 PM »
Yaakov,

I understand your situation completely. I too have a similar story {secular upbringing, etc.} . I also ended up being a rebellious young man and got into all kinds of trouble... Baruch Hashem i was able to overcome all that and about seven years ago I did Teshuva...

I have plans to make Aliyah eventually... After my mother and step-dad have been taken back to Hashem I will be freer to do so. My ex-wife, whom I still am living with, has some issues but she understands that we may end up in Israel within 10 years.

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline Lisa

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Re: About making aliyah
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 02:39:23 PM »
Quote
I have plans to make Aliyah eventually... After my mother and step-dad have been taken back to Hashem I will be freer to do so. My ex-wife, whom I still am living with, has some issues but she understands that we may end up in Israel within 10 years.

So are you re-married to your ex-wife? 

Offline muman613

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Re: About making aliyah
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 02:54:38 PM »
Quote
I have plans to make Aliyah eventually... After my mother and step-dad have been taken back to Hashem I will be freer to do so. My ex-wife, whom I still am living with, has some issues but she understands that we may end up in Israel within 10 years.

So are you re-married to your ex-wife? 

We are not married... There are some issues I am waiting for her to sort out..

You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline MassuhDGoodName

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Re: About making aliyah
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 05:29:44 PM »
Shalom and Greetings, yaakov mendel!

To succeed at making aliyah is extremely difficult, even in the best of circumstances.
Even the Jews from North America and Europe who succeed and remain for the rest of their lives will, if honest, tell you that.
Access the actual figures of Jews who choose to make aliyah and go to Israel - vs - the percentage of them who actually succeed and remain.
The numbers who return to their place of birth are very high -- high enough to be shocking.
I myself made the move and failed many years ago.
I still feel it important to try again and succeed, yet I have no illusions about what awaits me there.
I strongly believe what Rabbi Meir Kahane said so many years ago to be true:
He said that any and all attempts to "sell" aliyah to Jews for any reason other than literal fear of another Holocaust were nothing but fraud, and that only a very real fear of another genocide would make Jews stay in a confined, harsh land of extreme hardship, a 'Middle Eastern' lifestyle and culture, and limited job opportunities.   
Without mastery of the language your chances of material success are quite limited. 
Of course, miracles can and do occur, and some do succeed and are happy with their choice.
However, you should take a good look around every major U.S. cosmopolitan area at all the native born sabras living here, involved in their local Jewish communities, but with no desire whatsoever to return to their homeland.
There was even an official report released last year which stated that none of the official aliyah reps living in the States intended to return home to Israel.
The younger you are when making the move, the easier to adapt, but even that is no guarantee of success.
Of course, it's easy for me to write words and suggestions to you, so consider the source, but perhaps an alternative could work better for you given your present life circumstances:
Consider investing in an apartment home of some sort there, and use it as a family vacation home.
You can rent to others for income while not staying there.
Easier said than done, but a lot easier than failing to succeed at aliyah after living several years or more in Israel.
Easier still, and requiring far less cost and time, would be regular two week vacations there for the entire family - fun in the sun, beaches, see the sights, and perhaps your entire family might soon feel at home there and want to make aliyah.
Last but not least -- if all fails, you yourself can go there alone for regular visits.
Regular visits will also result in invaluable networking with others there.
By all means talk to everyone you know now living there or who ever did live there and get their honest opinions.
Good luck!


Offline Ari Ben-Canaan

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Re: About making aliyah
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2010, 04:38:17 AM »
I have not cared about religion or my heritage until the past 3 or 4 years.

I don't have the finances to move to Israel comfortably, although I know my income will be increasing in the next two years, and my family plans to help when I, God willing, make Aliyah.

I have many concerns:

I don't know Hebrew, but I am studying both how to speak and read it.  Reading it seems to be confusing because sometimes Hebrew has vowel sounds indicated, and other times it does not. [I'm not sure how to spell my own Hebrew name in vowel-less Hebrew script because there are so many vowels!]

I don't know anyone who lives in Israel, except for a few internet acquaintances.

I've never even been to Israel to visit.  Although my Mom and I are planning to take a trip in the next year [it will be her first trip as well].

I have no idea where I would want to live in Israel.  "East" Jerusalem has an appeal, as does Judea and Samaria...  but I don't know if that is just my chutzpah doing the thinking for me...  living in an area of conflict is easier to think and talk about than actually doing it, and I don't know first hand what these places are like.

I do not look forward to any contact with Fakestinians I may have.  Especially Muslims.  I do not like pretending to be cordial for the sake of politeness or to avoid conflict, but I also don't think arguing with Muslim/Nazis would be productive, short of expelling them from the land.

I wonder if I will make friends.

As an American, I am not sure how I would be received by the average Israeli.  Some Jews I know who have vacationed or lived in Israel tell me wonderful things, that is the side I choose to focus on.

Living in Los Angeles when my parents live in New York is tough enough.  To be on another continent does seem intimidating.  I would also miss my little brother who lives in Texas, I do not get to see him as it is.  However I do think hanging out with my family would be even more fun in Israel than elsewhere so there is that side of things.

Every person I know and care about will be thousands of miles away.

I am not sure what I will do for a living.  My Dad is putting me back to school when I move back to NY [perhaps in 6 months time] so I can work professionally with him at his practice.  I am going to school for counseling, and that will enable me to practice different forms of therapeutic bio-feedback that will benefit people with post-traumatic stress disorder, other forms of stress, or traumatic brain damages among other things, which I am highly interested in [some really specific advanced techniques my Dad does as part of his business; if I am not mistaken there is no one in Israel who does what I seek to do right now, so that could be an advantage].  I have not looked into it, but I don't know how American education transfers to Israel.  I am not opposed to going to college in Israel, but I do wonder if my Hebrew will be enough to sit and learn, or functional enough to work with people in a therapeutic setting.

I worry if I do not like it and find it unbearable that I will feel like a failure of a religious Jew and also be unhappy if I move back to the US.

---

I can't say that I find myself on the worrying about these things side often, but my worries do come up and I think are fairly reasonable. 

I trust that HaShem wants Jews to live in Israel, and I hope He casts favor on me when I make my move. 

I also hope to find a beautiful Sephardi or Mizrachi Hebrew queen for a wife when I move, and I hope that she will have a family who are enjoyable to spend time with, and I hope that her father will be a Torah scholar [I have read that in the past, when Jews were more religious, that the son-in-law was expected to study Torah from the father-in-law.  I hope to find myself able to continue that tradition].

I have heard that Rabbi Kahane established a Yeshiva in Israel.  One day I hope to visit it.  I have no idea what a Yeshiva experience is truly like, but I still hope to go if even only to see it in person.  Maybe I will like it and be able to become a student somehow.

I used to DJ and have a large record collection of dance music [I am almost 32, and I have been DJ'ing since age 16].  I have often read Israel has an active night life.  It would be fun to DJ in Israel.  I also hope to find some way to DJ music with the Nanach guys who love trance that I see dancing on Youtube.

I have lived in many places inside the US [Northern NY, NYC, Vermont, Florida, California, Maine], and I have in many of these cases jumped in with both feet w/o really taking a good look at what it would be like to actually live in any of these places.  I think these experiences may help in coping with a new foreign location.
"You must keep the arab under your boot or he will be at your throat" -Unknown

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Offline Yaakov Mendel

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Re: About making aliyah
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2010, 01:38:14 PM »
Many thanks to all of you who answered my question, it really helps to share your experience, thoughts and feelings on this.
What I plan to do for the moment is : 1) Improve my Hebrew; 2) Increase the frequency of my trips to Israel.
Investing in an apartment there, as suggested by MassuhDGoodName, is a good idea but I don't have the finances for that.
Ariel, I really hope you can find your wife in Israel, that would be a great way of solving many of your problems with regard to aliyah.

Offline Yaakov Mendel

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Re: About making aliyah
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2010, 03:20:20 PM »
I have found an interesting radio interview of Rav Bar-Hayim about the requirement to live in Israel :

http://machonshilo.org/en/eng/list-news/49-radio-interviews/347-israel-national-radio-interview-the-requirement-to-live-in-israel