As many of you are aware, this was our last Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipur in Israel for a while. The fact that we are moving back to the U.S. is, all of a sudden, starting to set in, and not necessarily with the excitement we expected. I know we are not planning to leave until June, however as we just celebrated our last High Holidays here (for a while) and are about to begin our last Sukkot (for a while) a new perspective is upon us.
Last year was a very hard year. It started off with me (Naomi) getting sick and ending up in the Terem (clinic emergency room) on an occasion or two. Thank G-d all was okay, and it turned out that I had developed a new allergy, to wheat, and my symptoms were just an allergic reaction. It went from there to learning the frustrations of dealing with the bureaucracy of Israel (first hand) and then the bureaucracy of our job. We faced the excitement and fear of Nate being drafted into the army, and then the disappointment when it did not happen. Finally, like everyone else, we faced the harsh reality of a pay-cut due to the bad economy and the Yeshiva we are work at not being able to survive otherwise (you do not want to know what Nate gets paid now, it would make you cry, and I do not get paid at all).
Because of all of this we became frustrated and we even got scared. We, but especially me, couldn't be consoled by anything other then the idea of going back to the U.S. to live. What we have recently realized, however, was, it was not that we actually want to live in the U.S. Yes, Nate has graduate school and smicha (Rabbinical School) there to start; and hopefully I will have a job there to go to. We even understand the language, the culture, and the government in the U.S. a bit better then here. What we realized is, that it is really not that we want to live in the U.S.; rather, we just want to be closer to our parents. When life gets scary and upsetting, you just want to be able to go to your parents home, even if it is just for a day or a weekend, to hide out and enjoy being with them. Living in Israel, we can not do that, and that is why, ultimately, we are going back. We just want to be closer to our parents, siblings, and most of our grandparents.
Recently we started to learn to deal with my allergies, we learned to handle the bureaucracy of Israel and work, and we learned to deal with our finances (mostly with my working almost full time along side school). In the few weeks since we have returned to Israel we have once again started to enjoy living in Israel, the way we did before. We have started to feel the extra level of holliness of being here, and making a living here, and of course, of celebrating the holidays here. We have started to feel how amazing this opportunity is, and how lucky we are to be Israeli citizens. Now, that things are calm, and we know that it won't be long before we can just drop in on our parents, we can enjoy being here in Israel.
I guess what it comes down to is, we don't want anyone to think living in Israel is crazy, or that difficult. It's really not! Sure, it comes with its challenges; but for us, the only challenge was being away from our parents, our brother and sister and our grandparents. Living in Israel is absolutely amazing! For me it has been a dream, or rather a fairy tale, come true! I never, in my life, thought I would actually get to live here, and now I do. So may this year be an amazing year, opening all of our eyes, and our family members eyes to the beautiful experience we get to have by living here, in Eretz Yisrael!