Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Why Do Some of Us Make Aliyah and Others Do Not?

WestBankMama is maming a collection of why people have made aliyah links. So here's my story.

I never intended to make aliyah. I was on par to finish college in America before I was 20. I was enjoying life in Providence, RI, in a joint yeshiva/college program, and I was planning on dropping the yeshiva and doing the college full time. When I suggested this to my parents they countered with a "why don't you go to Israel?" I talked to friends of mine that were in yeshiva here, and they were all having fun, so I figured why not. I would still be able to go to Israel for a year and graduate before I was 21, still a bit ahead of the game.
I came here after Sukkot 2001, a month after the Twin Towers went down and during a really bad intifida year. I was in a charaidi yeshiva in northern Jerusalem. I tried to get into the learning, but I really wasnt into it. I spent most of my time hanging out with my friends in Jerusalem and touring the country. That winter, on a Saturday night, I was on my way to meet some friends, and was about to pass through town when three suicide bombers went off and killed 10 people and injured hundreds. I saw it all firsthand. A month or so later I was in town and had to run away from a Palestinian who opened fire on Yaffo street. As I ran I thought "if I would have had a gun I could have stopped him". These incidents helped me to decide I wanted to go to the army, in addition, I felt that it was my responsibilty that just as I was able to tour freely and enjoy myself at the expense of the soldiers guarding us, it was my turn to guard so others could be free. I switched to a Hesder Yeshiva and went into the army with the guys from there. At that point, although I had never made a formal decision, I knew I could never live in America again. I officially tied the knot with this country when I married my Israeli wife, and although I am still in university and not planning on finishing for at least another year, making aliyah was a decision I have not regretted at all.


Blogger westbankmama said...

Great post - how inspiring that you didn't run away from Israel because of the terror but you felt a responsibility to stay here.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Rafi G said...

wow! I have been next to suicide bombers as well, but your response was inspiring!

10:49 AM  
Blogger the sabra said...

(quite a rare occasion for the sabra)

thank you stillruleall.

11:27 AM  
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10:33 PM  

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