Like a child running to hide behind her mother’s skirt, I ran back to America. And like that child, I found that it did no good. It didn’t erase the big, frightening world out there.
In my case, Aliyah did not fail me. I failed myself. I gave up when we were on the brink of some stability. Call it fear, exhaustion, hormones – probably some combination of all three. I have spent the last year and a half remembering the events that led to our hasty departure, reviewing my own thought processes which led to that fateful decision to leave. I have tried to make sense of it, and I can’t. Israel welcomed me with open arms, and I fell into its loving embrace.
Yes, the months leading up to our departure were hard. But a seasoned resident wouldn’t have so much as blinked at such problems. I had been effectively handling all the myriad ways a new immigrant could fail, and yet the one thing which stumped me was the lack of family. And I didn’t need to fail at that. I could’ve found a way to overcome it. Instead, I let fear drive me. Fear not of present regret, but of future. I didn’t know my future regret for not following my heart would be even greater.
I’m not normally a fearful person. Fear has never been natural to me. I suppose, from time to time, we must all face it. I did, and I failed. Now I know what it looks like, what it’s clothed in and how it tricks you. How it can ruin your life, not beyond repair, but beyond recognition.
I thought I was finished with Israel, or that it was finished with me. The truth is that we are not finished – far from it. We are finding a way to go back, and to be stronger than ever before. I will not make the mistakes of my old self. I will not give up. I will not let go of that precious dream which has sustained my people for centuries.
I refuse to let fear dictate my actions. I refuse to give in to worry and depression. With all transitions there must be some period of adjustment, one that may not be too kind, but that is a necessary evil.
And when we return, God willing soon, we will thank God everyday for blessing us with the opportunity to be there.
“Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land.” (Ezekiel 37:21)