The Reasons for Aliyah

11:25 PM 0 Comments

There are less than 15 workdays left before the big move. As the end of the month quickly approaches, I am letting more and more people know about our plans everyday. I realize that this is HUGE and I am sure feels out of the blue to many. I get it. I really believe that it is the right thing for Adam, the kids, and myself to be doing, but that does not make it all sunshine and rainbows. There are so many things that I am excited about, so many things I am anxious and nervous for, and still also things I am terribly sad about. We have put many hours of thought, research and discussion into this decision it wasn't made lightly. There are many factors that have contributed to the why, where, and when of our choice. 

There are the practical "religious" reasons. We want to go before the kids start school as we believe the transition will be easier for them; the younger they are the faster they will pick up the language. Affordable Jewish education (which in Israel is synonymous with public school) and the ability to live in a community with like minded peers are things that are very important to us. Although the community we live in here in the States is quite nice, and we have made some friends that we consider to be like minded, it's not the same as being surrounded by people who, for instance, don't have to ask what the weird hut-thing in our backyard is.  There isn't a place here where that is possible. 


Then there are the Zionistic reasons. Jews have fought for thousands of years to have a place of our own, for a safe place to go and live and practice our faith. I feel like being there we can be a part of something to help ensure that Israel continues to exist for the Jews that need it. I want to raise my children in this place. We are going for these reasons and so very many more. We know that many aspects of life in Israel will be easier (Shabbos, Kashrus etc...) and many will be just plain hard, but we also believe the cliche that nothing worth having is easy.  So those are some of the "we" reasons--let me tell you all about the "me" reasons.

Over the years, Adam and I have been on a journey of increasing observance of mitzvot, and I know that often I allow the increases to be pinned on him. I have during much of this time have also been on a journey. It started for me when I was dealing with infertility, I questioned a lot, I prayed a lot and finally I gave in to the idea that I had no control. I visited the Mikvah and was given the blessing of a healthy pregnancy and a beautiful baby boy. I took the same attitude again and quickly became pregnant with Tzippy. A daughter. I have a difficult (putting it mildly) relationship with my mom. It has never been easy. 

Finding out I was having a daughter helped me realize who I wanted to be. This is when I started wearing skirts and following many of the laws of Tznius (modesty). I want my daughter to look at the woman I am with pride. She may not want to "be like me" for very many reasons. But, I will do all that I can for that not to be because she views me as weak or hypocritical. 

I have spent my life knowing who I don't want to be, running from who I could have become. I am finally running to the person I do want to be. Strong. Independent. Humble. Modest. And I strive to be so much more than that as well.

We know that this decision affects everyone around us. It is difficult and sad. The hardest part for us is not just leaving family and friends but seeing the hurt on people's faces and hearing it in their voices. We know that you may not agree with or even understand our decision, but we ask that you respect that it is our decision and try to support us in making our dream reality.

Thoughtfully written by:

Rachel Hopkins

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