19 Nisan 5775
4th Day Chol HaMo'ed Pesach
Day 4 of the Omer
Today, I am celebrating 19 years since making aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. When I came, I had to leave two married daughters behind and my two boys were in their mid-teens (a terrible time to bring kids on aliyah). There was no Nefesh b'Nefesh, no bands or dignitaries to greet us. In fact, no one met us at the airport. We knew no one here. It was just us and Hashem.
Shimon Peres was Prime Minister. Buses were blowing up in Jerusalem and Israel was still at war in southern Lebanon. Our absorption center was located in Karmiel, in the Galil. Everything in the north was in Hebrew and Russian. Almost no one spoke English.
Those were the days. Would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat!
Despite the fact that you can get the equivalent of everything the Diaspora has to offer as well as a superior alternative, Eretz Yisrael still has two things that the Diaspora doesn't - no matter how frum your small corner of it is...
Hoping to meet you here, too - Next Year in Jerusalem!