Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Aliyah: The Pluses, The Minuses

Israel does wonders for my complexion -- inside and out, ya?
When I say to someone, "I'm considering making aliyah," there are a variety of responses, most of which start with a very shocked and concerned facial expression. These are followed by, "Well, you know it isn't easy" and "There are pluses and minuses!" Indeed, there are. But if there's one thing I've learned in life, you don't learn by pontificating, you learn by doing.

Anyway ... 

I was thinking about some of the basic pluses and minuses of moving to Israel. As I was thinking about these things, while driving about picking up gluten-free hamburger buns and beer for the 4th and being in awe of the beauty that is the Rockies, I had one small questioning realization: Do I love the mountains and weather and clear air in Colorado so much because it reminds me mightily of staring out at the hills of Neve Daniel or riding the bus into Jerusalem and seeing the mountainous hills? Thought to consider.

Anyway ... back to the pluses and minuses. Here's a small sampling of things I've been considering:


  • A vacation can take me to Europe or a cruise around the Mediterranean.
  • It's ISRAEL. My heart lives there. Y'all know that. 
  • The people I consider my Jewish family live there (looking specifically at The Rs, who have been there for me for more than three years through some of my brightest and darkest days and have always kept a close eye on me). 
  • I have a million and one friends there. Okay, not that many, but plenty. 
  • I don't have to worry about kosher food. 
  • Tech jobs GALORE!
  • I speak English. People in Israel desperately need people with good English. Have you seen the signs at any and every historic site in Israel? Who is translating that stuff?
  • I don't have to worry about fresh fruits and veggies for my ovo-vegetarian lifestyle!
  • I'm living amid some of the oldest history known to man!
  • I'm fulfilling the mitzvah of living in the land of Israel, duh. 
  • I feel safer when I'm in Israel than anywhere else I've ever lived. 
  • Bochurim? 
  • It's a hard life -- financially. 
  • Everyone around you wants to kill you. 
  • Converts have a rough take of it. (Sidenote: As I told a friend earlier today, if anyone wants to question my conversion in Israel, I could easily have 100 people flashmob the hearing with the beth din. BAM!)
  • I might be miserable. 
  • The weather. The weather. The weather ... sigh.
Okay, so, you know, looking at those minuses ... that could be my life here. I have my debt here, I have my enemies here, I could be miserable here, I could run into conversion questioners here. And the weather? Honestly, I keep telling people that's the only reason I don't live in Israel. And you know what? That's a pretty stupid reason to not live in Israel, don't you think? I'll vacation to the Alps when I want snow, right? 

Anyone care to add to the lists? And if you want to add to the minuses, I'm pretty sure I know what else will be added. Ready, set, go!