Aliyah Journal – T- 67 days and counting…

The time until aliyah is literally zipping by…hard to believe that in only 67 days we’ll be getting on a plane with a few hundred other new olim (immigrants to Israel). We’ve been confirmed on the flight we wanted, a Nefesh b’Nefesh charter flight leaving JFK for Israel on July 9. I especially wanted to be on an aliyah charter flight, not just a “group flight.” The group flight means you have several people making aliyah flying together on the same regularly scheduled flight; the charter means the entire plane is chartered for people making aliyah and special guests. It should be a particularly special experience being together with all those other olim.

As the time gets closer we keep working our way through the voluminous to-do list. Our stress level would be a lot lower if our house here in Toledo sold; unfortunately, this isn’t the best real estate market. In about another month I’ll get busy selling my car. In the meanwhile, we’re watching the ads, looking for an apartment in Israel. We do so much over the internet, makes me wonder how we ever managed in those ancient pre-internet days. Of course, with the new technology comes all sorts of new choices and things to figure out as part of the aliyah process. Not only are we moving to Israel, but all of our technology is moving to Israel. Decisions, decisions. Which computers to bring? What cell phone (we’re buying quad-band unlocked GSM phones here and bringing them with us)? Which VoIP provider do we want to use?

I was at a rabbi’s convention in Boston earlier this week. When friends and colleagues would ask me, “so when are you making aliyah?” I’d tell them quite precisely: 71 days, or 70 days. So I was amused when a friend introduced me to someone else and said “Barry’s making aliyah in 69 days.” Maybe they’re counting the days until I’m gone! J A lot of my colleagues told me they have “aliyah envy.” I point out to them that it’s never been easier to make aliyah – between the Israeli government and Nefesh b’Nefesh there is a lot of support – but I think a lot of people are more comfortable with aliyah as a kind of dream that’s “out there” somewhere, not as a reality. But how can we pray to be gathered together in Israel three times a day, and not eventually take the message seriously?

Fortunately the kids remain excited about our upcoming move. I’m glad they seem to have inherited a spirit of adventure from me and Lauri. It’s certainly an adventure!


Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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