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Friday, April 21, 2006

Aliyah -- Sacred and Profane Dimensions

Aliyah literally means ascent, in the sense that one ascends to a higher plane spiritually--so one has an aliyah to the bima to read from the Torah; one makes an aliyah to Jerusalem from the Sharon plain; and one makes aliyah to Israel, elevating one's life to a (hopefully) more spiritual level in Israel than in the Diaspora.

It's not automatic--it will take some work to make this ascent, both physically and spiritually.

But I feel the winds of change already. We have an aliyah date; we have a packing date; I have a date on which I will leave work. The latter was really a turning point.

Even if one does not define one's self by the work one does, decades in the same field and a certain level of expertise, a certain level of adrenaline addiction, a certain slinging of code words used in the field, a certain way of carrying one's confidence, like armor, in court and outside of it, leave their marks. I found, when I selected a quitting date, the coils of those habits of being began to loose themselves from my soul. I felt a sense of gladness, a sense of looking forward to the future, and yes, a sense of relief that I am about to be released from the Wheel of Labor -- in its mandatory form, anyway. I am free now to choose to study, to choose to volunteer, to choose to work.

I feel I am free finally to seek something besides just the daily bread.

My realtor put it best: "It's time for you to detox," she said, laughing nonetheless at our funny/bittersweet memories of our Law & Order days. Crime and punishment will always be with us. The tides of justice will continue to roll regardless of whether I am there or not. I have made my contribution to that form of tikkun olam--now it is time for repair of the soul, and for attention to my son's complex needs and to return my husband's steadfastness and care for a change.

The challenge will be ordering my life in such a way to do all of these things without losing myself in all this free time I've never had before. There has never been time to study--time in the last 26 years has been devoted to career, to children's needs, but rarely did my husband and I have the luxury of studying Torah. Aliyah isn't ONLY for us -- it is for my son's future; I do it because I believe I have something to contribute to Israel; I do it because my husband could not wait to return home to the Land he loves; I do it because a still small voice within me tells me this is where I am supposed to be.

I'm not sure I can wait until the NBN flights. Even July 5th seems too far away. I can handle a three week separation from my husband in order for my son to finish school and for us to vacate the house. I don't think I want to live out of a suitcase for 3 additional weeks, even assuming we get on the first flight. I wonder if we can't just get an earlier, non-NBN flight? I'd miss the Kurtzers, and I'd miss Emma S and others who will be on that flight, but I've waited so long for this, we tried for so many years to make this happen---I think I want to go sooner than later.


Blogger Emah S said...

wow! Sounds like your loose ends aren't so loose! I take it you got the letter from NBN and all is well with you? We got ours, and are waiting to RE-evaluate, RE-address, RE-discuss it with them. They somehow misunderstood our financial situation and sent the letter stating that they are not offering us finan. assistance because we appear to have the "requisite funds". Needless to say, yes, the tears flowed, and luckily, hubby sent an email before all had gone for the chag. We've been promised a "revote" per say. Scary, but I don't think we can make aliyah on our VISA card...the credit one that is.

Anyway, enough of my complaining. I wish you luck in figuring out when you NEED to go, but hope you decide to be on my plane, and I hope that I'm on my plane too!

hugs and shavua tov when you read this.

~oh, and call me Susie! :)

Saturday, April 22, 2006 at 3:34:00 AM GMT+3  
Blogger Jill said...

Interesting isn't it? Once we decide and know in our heart what we are 'supposed' to do, there is an urgency to get 'the ball rolling'. It is like anything else is putting off...our life ! I hope everything falls perfectly in place for you and for Susie.

Saturday, April 22, 2006 at 8:37:00 PM GMT+3  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

'sob' No, sadly, no letter from NBN! Only that one phone call which I initiated. I think I'll call them.....the suspense is killing me.

Susie -- You'll get the re-evaluation, I'm sure. They told Yona that she would 'lose' her grant if she didn't take the last minute flight as scheduled--she didn't, and lost the grant--which they promptly re-granted when she applied again the following month. I got from them a sense that they are serious about making it easier for people to make aliyah--if you tell them you can't go without financial aid, then I'm sure they'll find some kessef.

Jilly--so true! I'll be in touch--got your other email hon and have you in mind.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 at 7:47:00 PM GMT+3  

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