Friday, September 4, 2009

State of the union address, or can you believe it's been two years?

Today we begin the third year of our Aliyah.

People ask me how we're doing. Most of the time I give my stock answer: "We're doing good. There are some bumps in the road, but overall we are happy". I want people to know that life's not perfect or easy here, but in spite of it we are okay. You guys, however, deserve more than my stock answer--you deserve honesty.

We are okay.

I would even venture to say better than okay.

The honest truth is that we all have our difficult moments related to our move. It can be a moment of missing someone we left behind. It can be a moment when we want to express something, but the words just don't come out fluently in this new language we have come so far with. It's adapting to a different work culture. It's getting a bank statement and avoiding it, because it's just easier than trying to decipher it. It's trying to find that sense of community we had, but took us years to achieve. It's watching your kids struggling to find their place. It's feeling like an immigrant.

People also ask if I ever regret making the move. The only thing I regret is not doing it sooner, because I think alot of the things we struggle with are a result of our--ahem--advanced ages. But there would have been other, different struggles I'm sure. (But I would advise those of you thinking of making the move: do it when your kids are young.)

So, no, I don't regret our decision to make Aliyah. I've always felt that I, as a Jew, belong here. And even on the most difficult days of acclimating to my new life, I remember that and feel okay.

I like the way I ended my anniversary post last year so I think I'll end it the same way:

Who knows where the road ahead will take us? I have no idea. But for today, I am happy, living here in G-d's country, and grateful for all his blessings.


Anonymous said...

Mazel tov! Hooray for you! Am Yisrael Chai!


Benji Lovitt said...

Mazal tov-how funny, my friend Shoshana was on the same flight, I told her mazal tov earlier today.

I hate that question, especially when it's phrased as "so you must totally love it, right?" where it makes it hard to give any kind of qualified answer, when they're clearly expecting some kind of romantic, fairy tale, emphatic YES.

Reading your post made me think, geez, if I think I have it hard (as a single guy), Baila must *really* have it hard. I hear you on the advanced age thing.

rutimizrachi said...

I'm glad you're here, Mamaleh. You've made my aliyah sweeter.

Israel W. said...


Happy Aliyaersary!

Baila said...


Thanks and I love it that you comment both here and on FB!


For those people that want to hear that its great, I just tell 'em that it is. It's just easier that way--and my close friends, I think, are aware that life is not a breeze, Aliyah or not. Then there is the category of people who want to hear about how TERRIBLE and DIFFICULT life is here. I also tell those people that life is great here.


I love you.


Thanks. Will you be at the convention?

Mrs. S. said...

Mazal tov on your aliyah-versary!

I would say that this means that you no longer qualify as an olah chadashah. When we first came, I remember thinking that our neighbors, who had come two whole years before us, were real vatikim. After all, their kids actually spoke Hebrew! :-)

Fern Chasida said...


first off mazal tov! sorry to have missed the first 2 years but hope to share many books and magazines over the coming ones. it's funny because i was thinking about doing a post about being back and presenting the ahem difficulties and thinking that some people will be saying, aha, so it's not all perfect.

Anonymous said...

Every place has its pros and cons and ups and down. you followed your dream and as long as your are all together and happy that is all that matters. we will just have to visit more often. thank g-d for the internet and 516 area codes.

JJ said...

Mazal Tov, Baila! Wow, has it been 2 years already? Glad things are going well. Let me tell you, we've been here over 15 years and there are still some "bumps in the road" that never quite go away. :-) But for the most part, it's cool!

OneTiredEma said...

The only thing I feel confident about in our whole venture is that we came at a good time for the kids :) But of course that makes me worry that they will evolve into people who I, culturally speaking, don't recognize because they weren't the kids I expected to have, you know?

Ah, worry here, worry there.

Mazel tov on your milestone!

Leora said...

I admire your honesty, and I am glad to hear for the most part you are doing well!

The people I miss the most are no longer on the planet, anyway. You are fortunate to be able to make the most of being apart from some who are dear.

Robin said...

Mazal tov on reaching three.

I've been here 20 now and from the perspective of time what I can say is this - those who stay, stay because they actually learn to like it here. What those who are constantly asking you are forgetting though is that life anywhere is full of ups and downs. Yes, life in Israel has its difficult side, but so does life in the US or anywhere else. Life in Israel is just like life there, just in another language, or as I've been known to say, "home is where the mortgage is". Reentry after a long trip to the US can sometimes be a shock, but then I spend the afternoon at the pool (NOT worried about getting rained out!) surrounded by dear friends, planning our next escapades, and life is good. In some ways stress levels are higher here, but in others they are much lower - my children are able to enjoy a degree of freedom and independence that is no longer possible in the US, I don't worry about things like carjackings, I can walk my neighborhood at night if I want to... There's good and bad everywhere, and every life has it's pieces of both. It's what we make of them that counts.

Here's to many more happy years for you and your family.

Gila Rose said...

Hey Baila, mazel tov! we were on that same flight, just a year later, so we share an aliyah-versary!

mother in israel said...

Mazal tov Baila. Looking forward to seeing you next week!

Anonymous said...

Mazel tov to your and your family. Thanks for blogging about your ups and downs in Israel.

Anonymous said...

you guys are our heros, but none the less it's just not the same without you.
Kol Hakavod Baila!!!!