I am on a journey, to make Aliyah, and want to share my journey with my family, friends and anyone that is interested. I made the decision to make Aliyah in December 2002 and now I am actually doing it. This blog will chronicle my story and adventures leading up to getting on the plane and then the continuing story of the beginning of my new life in Israel and what I experience once there.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Baby's Coming Home

My independent child, Emily, chose to remain in Atlanta when the family moved back to South Carolina last year. She was a rising junior at a Jewish High School, had her friends, life, etc. She did not want to change schools at this point in her life, so I agreed that she could stay (she had 5 different families offer to take her in). This summer she spent here with us and when it was time for school she returned to Atlanta. Unknown to me at the time she was missing us more than the year before. She came to Columbia for Rosh HaShanah and then returned to Atlanta, missing us some more.

She talked with her sister and she made comments to me that sounded like if she had to make the decision now she'd not have gone back to Atlanta. I don't take hints very well, so I kinda blew off what she was hinting at. Kaitlin came to me to ask why I told Emily that she couldn't move back here. That was when I called Emily and got the whole story instead of the hint.

There are lots of family reasons for her to want to be here, but the one that hit home, and selfishly I understand, is that she realized (reminded by this blog) that I was leaving next year and if she stayed in Atlanta then she'd get back to Columbia a month before I left and that she'd get to spend a month with me, and much of that would be with me packing to leave. If she came back now we'd have more time together.

I'm fooling myself into thinking it's all about me, but since the same issue applies for me wanting to spend more time with her too, how could I really say no. I contacted her school and the school here to see it were even possible and today we found out that she can get the classes in that she needs to graduate in SC. So, she said she wants to come home. Sometimes the logical thing is not necessarily the right thing. Sometimes you have to do what you want, look at me... So Sunday she will be back.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Next year in Jerusalem - בשנה הבאה בירושלים

Well I've been looking forward to the end of Yom Kippur for many reasons, but the one that applies most here are the the last words of the service --- בשנה הבאה בירושלים --- "Next year in Jerusalem" which for me will be the case, not just words repeated from year to year. No matter where in Israel I may be living I want to spend my first holidays in Jerusalem, so next year I WILL be in Jerusalem.

To add to the moment, about a dozen people in my shul were on the bima for the final Tekiah Gadolah, of which I was one. We got our cue from the rabbi and we all blew. People started running out of air and I kept blowing, it was like I needed to keep blowing to sound the shofar to say "Israel... I'm coming... are you getting this?" I lasted it seemed forever beyond the rest of the group, and finally it came to an end, just as Yom Kippur came to an end. A new year begins with a clean slate and I've got many new chapters to write.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The betting pool

It was brought to my attention last week that family members are placing odds on whether I go or not and if I do how long I will stay. I don't have much to say other than: Hello! I've been planning this for 6+ years... I don't think this is a whim... Hey, I'm leaving in 9 months and I'm going to stay, I wouldn't move 1/3 of the way around the world if I wasn't in for the long haul. So, plan to visit someday.