My Sister's Perspective On Our Aliyah

“Oh guys! We have a secret to tell you!” Becca said as she sat down on the couch right next to Robert and I. My first thought was, she’s pregnant again, but I took one look at the adorable one month old in her arms and realized that couldn’t be it. Robert gave me a look, I looked from him to Simcha and back to Becca. “Ok? What is it?” I asked quizzically.

“We are moving to Israel!” Becca said with a huge smile on her face as she patted her baby on the back. My heart sank. “You are moving to Israel. Wow that is really exciting!” I said,  attempting to put on a brave face and trying to comprehend what she was really saying. This just felt so surreal.

“How did this happen?” I asked. As Becca and Simcha told us how they decided it was time to move, all I could think about were their kids. All I could think about were all the holidays and birthdays we would not be a part of. All the graduations, all the milestone moments and all of the new aspects of their life in Israel we would just not fully understand.

I stole a glance at my oldest niece next to her dad, sitting crisscrossed with her head buried deeply into a chapter book, and my eyes started to water. I heard my two other nieces laughing upstairs, and I had to blink to keep the tears from falling down my face. I listened to the excitement in Becca and Simcha’s voices and I knew that they were really going; My heart broke.

Shana, the middle of the three of us, has been living in Israel since she graduated High School. I have become accustomed to her and her family living 6,000 miles away. But Becca and Simcha? They were supposed to be here. They were supposed to be just an hour and a half car ride up 95. I was supposed to be a bigger part of their children's lives.

Robert keeps reminding me that it is for the best and we will go and visit. And he is right. It is for the best for their family. Israel is where they belong. I keep telling myself that I am excited for them, and most of the time, I really am, but that doesn't make it easy.

Over the last few months, my mind has constantly been going back to Simcha. I have always felt like I had a special connection with him. Maybe that’s what happens when your sister get’s married when you are still in High School. Or maybe everyone feels this way about Simcha. I’m not so sure, but the fact that I won’t be able to stay up late with him on Passover night talking, or watch Robert and Simcha bond together across the table at family gatherings or even simply text him when I need advice, is hard for me to grasp. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I know that Simcha will always be there for me when I need him. I know that I can always WhatsApp him, I know that Robert and I will be visiting Israel more frequently now that all 8 of my nieces and nephews will be there. I just hope that our special bond doesn’t dwindle just because of the 7 hour time difference.

Since Becca and Simcha told us they were moving, I have gone through a lot of emotional stages. Sadness, denial, confusion… but in the end, all the feelings turned into one; Pride. I am so proud of Becca and her family.

Becca has been such an inspiration throughout my entire life.  I am in awe of her and the life she has built for herself. I’ve never been a wife or a mother but I can only imagine that it must take a lot of courage and a lot of faith in your marriage and your family to be able to leave the comfort of America and move half across the world. As hard as I think it is for me to see them go, it is going to be 100 times harder for them. They are the ones who are finding a new home, a new community. They are the ones that need to speak Hebrew, get accustomed to a new culture; a new life style. They are the ones that are taking a gigantic leap into the unknown. The amazing thing about it is, I have never seen them happier or more excited. That right there, trumps all the sadness and heartbreak I have gone through. Seeing Becca this happy is a blessing. She has found a husband who has given her the support and the love to be able to go after her dreams. A husband who is right there next to her, encouraging her, admiring her and strengthening her. A husband who she can count on.  She has three wonderful daughters and an incredible son who are just as excited and ready for the challenge as she is. Becca’s family is one fortified unit and I am comforted in knowing that they have each other through this wild and crazy adventure. As long as they have each other, they will be ok and therefore, I will continue to be proud of them…from afar that is.