I dreamed a dream…

I love Les Miserables. Not just the musical, I’ve actually read the entire Victor Hugo book in the original French, and in English, just in case I missed something in the French. I love how in spite of all the misery and hardships, there is a relatively happy ending. Not the happy ever after ending of a fairy tale, but a content, life can go on kind of ending.

Life is not a bed of roses. Bad things happen to good people. Different folk deal with that in different ways. Some use bad things as proof that there is no God. Others use tragedy to say all religion is bad. Still others tell us that disaster strikes because we don’t put enough faith in God.

I believe in God. I’ve had times in my life when that belief has been tested, but ultimately I believe in God. I believe in the Torah, and I believe in Judaism. I don’t always agree with the interpretations, but the beauty of Judaism is that there is always more than one answer to a question.

When times are tough, I try hard to tell myself that it’s a test, and that God only gives you as much as you can handle. It’s what I told myself when I battled post-partum depression, when my husband was out of work for a long time, and at other stages in my life. I don’t know if I believe it completely, but it does help me get through, and it drives me to pray harder, to do extra mitzvot, and to give more tzedakah – there is always someone worse off than you!

The past 6 weeks my faith has been tested to the limits. As time flew by since our interview with the Jewish Agency in Miami, we heard nothing about our application to make aliyah as a family. Others who interviewed weeks after us were approved, their flight confirmed. We approached from as many angles as we could, trying to get some information – was there a document missing, did our file get lost, anything? Eventually we discovered, as I had expected, that it was related to my aliyah some 20+ years ago. Our application had to go through a special committee. You cannot make aliyah twice – this I know. All I wanted though, was for our family to arrive in Israel together on a Nefesh B’Nefesh flight. I never had a free flight, as I made aliyah from within the country, and my husband & kids are entitled to a free flight per the laws of making aliyah. It was so important to me that we were on a Nefesh B’Nefesh flight. I want my children to arrive in their new homeland to an enormous welcome. To singing and dancing. To be welcomed by the leaders of the country. To understand from the minute they arrive that this is HOME, this is where we need to be. And if we weren’t approved for the Nefesh B’Nefesh flight, well, it just wouldn’t be the same.

Baruch Hashem, we finally heard this morning. I give so much thanks to both Rabbi Fass at Nefesh B’Nefesh, and to Iris at the Jewish Agency in Miami, for their patience in dealing with my incessant emails and phone calls, and for their investigating for us. Thanks to Keith, my ever-patient spouse for ignoring my insistence that if we weren’t on that flight I wasn’t going. Thank you to my Mahjongg girlies for allowing me to have an evening playing Mahj, without a single mention of the move – you guys have NO idea how serious I was – I would have just left Tuesday night if anyone had mentioned it.

And now the real work begins. The dream is being realized, but we’ve a way to go. I’m not expecting a fairy tale outcome, but I cannot wait to live in Medinat Yisrael, Reishit Tzmichat Geulateinu. The State of Israel, the beginning of our redemption, the only place the Jewish people can truly call “Home”.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebekah Israel
    Jul 03, 2014 @ 11:40:22

    Hi Vanessa. Good timing: not knowing this news on our early morning walk, we saw Keith walking the dog, and I asked him about going to Israel in the midst of current events – the post-kidnapping/murder of the three boys and riots in Jerusalem. I then communicated my 100 percent unsolicited support for your move.


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