I was raised in a very Zionistic household and went to a school that placed a large emphasis on the importance of Eretz Yisrael. I went to a seminary that pushed making aliyah and have been taught that Eretz Yisrael is the Jewish Homeland and the place we should be living. I have known this as fact since I was a young girl.
Whenever aliyah came up in the past, I always said "I would love to go." I would say that we decided when we got married that it would be amazing to move to Israel if it was financially feasible and we could find a good community to raise our children. I spoke about how it is where all Jewish people should be and how the land is filled with kedusha.
As I think about it, was I really being truthful? Would I really love leaving our parents and being immigrants in a foreign country? Would I really love learning a new language and having difficulty communicating with the people around me? Would I really love starting our lives from scratch? Is that really what I wanted? To be quite honest, it was easy to say that I would love to make aliyah when I was hiding behind all our excuses. We did not have a financial plan and we were not even looking into communities. It was easy to say I would move when we were not planning to go!
And then, Simcha came home and said let's make aliyah! I panicked. All these years I have been the one to say we should go, but now, when it was a reality I was scared. I felt like a fraud. We spoke through all the fears. We did not commit to anything for months as we talked and researched. As we became more confident with our decision, my fears started to dissipate (although I do not think they will ever disappear) and my Zionist roots started to come through.
Planning our aliyah thus far has been life changing for me. I feel like I am finally being true to what I believe in. We are planning our lives based on our ideals. We are trying not letting excuses get in our way. It is actually quite a relief. I have had this dream of moving to Eretz Yisrael for years. With each passing stage in our lives, I have watched that dream move farther and farther from me. Honestly, until this past summer, I had given up. We were settled in New Jersey. We own a house, our kids are in school and we both have careers we like. We are happy here. But, it is not what I had hoped my life would look like. It is not what I believe in.
Now, when I think about the rest of our lives, I see that dream as our reality. I see our children growing up in Eretz Yisrael. Obviously we have not done anything yet, but it feels exhilarating to finally be true to myself.