Sunday, June 03, 2007

The long way leading to Israel

I am now in yeshiva in Israel and therefore I will not update this blog as regularly although I plan to update it at least once a week with my laptop.

I don't post "personal" stories very often but I think this one is worth sharing.

I was supposed to arrive to Israel on the 21th of May. I only arrived on the 28th. What happened?

Well, I went to the airport the 20th of May as planned with all my luggage. Once there, as I was checking in my luggage, they checked my passport. I was then shocked to hear they told me I couldn't go on the plain. No, its not because my passport was not valid. No, its not because I'm on any FBI or Mossad list, baruch hashem. The reason why is because they have a very hard to understand rule that you can only get on a plane if your passport is valid 6 months after the date of your return ticket! Having never heard of this rule, I thought my passport was valid. Truth is, it was valid, just not valid "enough".

Thank God, I got to Israel although I missed my good friend's wedding in the process.
But for the past week, I was trying to find the svara (reasoning) behind this seemingly irrational law. I still do not understand what reasoning the people who enacted it had, but I think I know why its existence is really about.

We live in a generation where all it takes to go to Israel is a plane ticket. We often forget what tsipiya liyeshuva means, expectation of redemption. We don't know what it feels like to fait for eagles to bring us to the land of Israel at any moment because whenever we want, we can hop on a metal eagle and it will bring us there in less then 12 hours.
It's very easy to live in New York when there's an El Al office in JFK.

For one week, I felt what it means to be in chutz laaretz without the possiblity to leave. Even if I sold all my property for a plane ticket, there was no way for me to leave. It wasn't a choice anymore. And even though the whole year long I'm not in Montreal because I want to but rather because I have been instructed by my rabbis to follow my parent's will, there is always the theoretical possibility to leave.
For one week, I have seen what it is to say "Teka Beshofar Gadol" and pray to go back to Israel without having the possibility to go.

If I learned one thing from this experience which everyone also needs to learn: We are way too spoiled in our generation. It is so easy to go to Israel that we often forget how much of a miracle it is that we are able to go there.

May my experience help all of us learn how to be grateful towards God for his amazing miracles and may we learn from it how to be metsapeh liyeshoua more...

1 comment:

Gavi said...

Dan, our situations are obviously very different. But your post really touched me today. I'm in the position of trying to figure out how to make aliyah and so I get sad and discouraged. There is some reason for this and I know that Hashem will not abandon me here in the exile, but I appreciate words of strength and encouragement as well.