We’re making Aliyah!
Yes, today is February 8, 2017.
And yes, we moved to Israel on August 24, 2015.
Let me explain.
Moving to Israel has been one of the most amazing events in my life. As you are aware, it wasn’t (unfortunately) an idea that I had thought about all my life, but a more recent realization. A realization that we as a Jewish nation have a Jewish Homeland and it is about time we live in our actual God-given home.
We moved to Israel a little over a year and a half ago, with Visas. We had not declared Aliyah with Nefesh B’Nefesh at that time. It was a decision that we came to. I wanted to move to Israel any way I could, so I agreed to move that way. It has been the most fabulous year and a half- a whirlwind of emotions and so much excitement. I don’t need to tell you that- you’ve been along the whole way! And if you haven’t, welcome and feel free to read all the previous blog posts!
The funniest comment I got this year multiple times was when people would tell us- “How can you only keep one day of Yom Tov? You didn’t make Aliyah.” My response at the time (also based on the Rabbi’s answer) was as follows: “When Hashem (G-d) commanded us to live in Israel- at that time there were no documents to fill out, Misrad Hapnims, Jewish Agencies, or Nefesh B’Nefesh. Making Aliyah meant- living in Israel. So we will keep one day of Yom Tov- because we are living in Israel.” Oh! How I enjoyed keeping only one day! Think about all the extra Chol HaMoed days we accumulate to travel throughout Israel!
Well, now it is finally time to make Aliyah officially- to become citizens of The State of Israel. We may have been fulfilling the G-d-given commandment to live in the land, but now I want to call myself and my children, actual Israeli Citizens! To be part of something that is bigger than I could have ever imagined. We are the luckiest generation to have Israel as ours again, returned to us after thousands of years of exile.
I want to thank Nefesh B’Nefesh, specifically Casriel Accardi, for being along every step of the way for the last 2 1/2 years- from the moment I started exploring the idea to move to Israel. Casriel checked in monthly hoping for status updates. He made sure that before we made the move we had all our documents in order and uploaded on the Nefesh B’Nefesh website. That must have been the most tremendous help now that we’re ready to declare.He also reminded us to make Aliyah within the first two years or we’d lose out on our benefits.
If you are someone thinking of moving to Israel, firstly Kol HaKavod! And secondly, it is a tremendous undertaking not to be taken lightly. Do your research and ask questions from people that have been through it. Remember that while in my case it made sense to move this way and wait to declare, for most others it is more beneficial to declare with Nefesh B’Nefesh right away and arrive in Israel as Olim. They’ll help you set everything up to make a smooth transition. As always, you can definitely feel free to reach out to me and I’ll answer your questions to the best of my knowledge and ability.
So for all of you in shock, I welcome you to lift your jaws off the floor. We may not have declared back then officially, but we moved here full-heartedly with no intentions of turning around. So thanks for being along with me throughout this journey! I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.
Mazal Tov to us!