Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Test of the Dangling Carrot

Mere moments after I made the decision to make aliyah, a magical golden carrot appeared floating in the midst. It seemed perfect, just right, meant to be. Except that the dangling carrot was not in Israel, it was elsewhere. And it got me thinking whether I could put my long-awaited decision of aliyah on hold.

I knew deep down the answer was no, but I considered my options. I let the carrot dangle. I, the mule, watched the carrot carefully. I coveted the carrot. I followed the carrot.

Then, somehow, the carrot was gone. Decision made. My heart broke a little, I had trouble sleeping, and then I woke up feeling differently. It's aliyah, folks. It's fulfilling the ultimate mitzvah!

The carrot is in Israel. And it's not on a string. It's real.

This felt like the first test of HaShem (well, that and all the bureaucracy of having to wait for apostilles on my various legal documents from three different states). The question being whether now that I've made the decision for aliyah, will anything stop me? Will I be able to handle it? Will I follow through?

Duh. There are a bajillion reasons I would follow through.

"There is a positive, biblical commandment to dwell in Eretz Israel, as it says, 'You shall possess it and dwell in it' (Devarim 17:14, 26:I)."
That comes from Sefer Chareidim (Mitzvot Asei HaTeluyot B'Eretz Israel, chap. I, sec 15).  Chazal say that this mitzvah is equal to all the mitzvot of the Torah (Sifrei, Re'eh 28), and it is one of the 613 mitzvot according to the Ramban and the Rashbetz.

So test away, throw carrots my way, roadblocks, mounds of bureaucracy and stress -- I'm going to plant my feet in Israel and never look back. 

I've got a whole lot of bitachon. More than I've ever experienced before in my life. I'm happier than ever, I'm more excited than I've ever been. Bring it.