I had the privilege of taking my girls to a pre-purim concert this past motzei shabbat. It was extremely late, tons of fun, and an awesome bonding experience for all of us. As one of the final songs of the night, they played L'shana Haba B'Yerushalayim. A shiver ran through my body as I realized, "Yes, this song is talking about us, we really will be in Eretz Yisrael next year!"
I ran over to each of my girls and screamed over the blaring music "This song means next year in Yerushalayim and that is going to be us." I saw their minds processing and then a huge grin on each of their faces.We high-fived and continued dancing and enjoying the rest of the concert.
I recently heard a speaker point out that this is our children's aliyah as much as it is ours. It is something that has been going through my mind a lot lately. My husband and I made the decision to make aliyah, went on the pilot trip and have been making tons of decisions about the plans. But, I am really trying to make this a positive aliyah experience for all of us and include the kids on as much as we can. We had a family meeting to discuss the pros and cons of each community we are considering. We try to share as many details about the planning with them as possible and ask their opinions when we can take it into account. I have been making a deliberate effort to check in with them every few weeks about how they are feeling about this whole process. After all, this life change is going to impact their lives as much or more than it does mine.
People ask us all the time about how our children are feeling about the move. I would like share that they are super excited. I think that for the most part it is true. As my four year old so eloquently explained one night, she is happyish saddish. Saddish to leave her friends who speak English and happyish that she will learn so much Hebrew. One of my other girls casually explained on our walk to shul this past week that we should have moved a long time ago. She stated in a very matter of fact way that Israel is where the Jewish people should live, and then asked why we waited so long to move? To me, that is a win. My daughter understands why we are turning our lives upside down and is excited to make aliyah.
I hope that this excitement will only grow. I hope that we can make this a positive aliyah experience for all of us. Our countdown is at 168 days. Not only will we be in Eretz Yisrael l'shana haba, but we will be there in 168 days!