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Sunday, June 04, 2006

To Be Or Not To Be... That's the Israeli (Part Une)

Hey folks, sorry I haven't posted in over a week. There's been a couple of reasons for my lull. First of all, I was working for 3 days straight, writing a paper that I should have written months ago, and I was determined to get it done by the middle of last week. Secondly, my heart just wasnt into writing. There was nothing and everything that I wanted to write about; Olmert's "prestigious" visit to Washington DC, a judge giving probation to a child mollester because she felt he was too short to survive in prison (just as an FYI to this "little" judge and to y'all, even if this guy was 6 ft tall, he still would have been fish fodder in prison. Child mollesters and child killers are on the very bottom of the prison totum pole. Even guys who have murdered and eaten people consider messing with kids to be unforgiveable.), amongst other topics. But, I just wasn't in the right frame of mind to write about any of them.

And, instead of writing about any of that political hooey now, I'm going to tell y'all a story. West Bank Mama was asking people to send in their stories about why they made Aliyah (immigrated) to Israel, just in time for Shavuot. For my precious non-Jewish readers, Aliyah is not the hebrew word for immigration. It is a term specific to Israel. Aliyah means, literally, to go up. Jews believe that when we move to Israel, we are lifting our souls to a higher spiritual level, and literally rising up to Israel. Shavuout is the Jewish holiday in which we celebrate receiving the Torah from G-d and Moses on Mount Sinai. It is a perfect time to tell a story. The reason that I didn't send mine in was because I didn't have enough time, and I felt that mine was a bit too complicated to tell. But, alas, I want to share it with you. It will be a 2 or 3 part series, as it is very long, and I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle. I'll post the first part today, and then the rest over the course of the week.

For most of my life, I had no desire to move to Israel. It didn't interest me even-though I grew up in a very Zionistic oriented home, went to a modern orthodoz Zionist school, and was part of a Zionist youth orgization. Don't get me wrong, I had a very strong love and appreciation for Israel, but I just didn't feel like I had to move there. I thought it would be sufficient to be an Jew living in American, and doing my job to support the Holy Land from the US. I'm sure many American Jews feel that way. I celebrated Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) and wore my Bnei Akiva Tilboshet and sang Ha'Tikva with pride, but my heart didn't belong to Israel. It belonged to America. My mom had lived in Israel for several years and would have made Aliyah had my grand-father not sent her a plane ticket and forced to return home to Germany right before the Yom Kippur War broke out. She left a day before Rosh Hashana, 11 days before the war broke out, but every-one in the world knew it was coming. Everyone except for the Israelis, it seems, but I digress. My mom lost a lot of her dear friends in that war and, to this day, regrets not staying and helping out in the war effort. She used to preach Aliyah and moving back to Israel to me all the time. Whenever this conversation came up, I used to give her the same answer: "Mom, I promise to move to Israel when Mashiach (the Messiah) comes". Needless to say, this did not please her, but she accepted the answer, and kept having these conversations with me. I thought my obnoxious reply would make her stop, but maybe she saw something in me that she felt that continuing the discussion would some-how make a dent. These also led to arguments. Being the child of Holocaust survivors, my mom used to go on and on about how the only true safe place for Jews to be was Israel, and that I shouldn't fool myself into thinking that another Holocaust against the Jews couldn't happen again and in the US. I used to just laugh that off and say that a Holocaust in America was impossible. Who knew I would actually come to agree with her? Don't tell her I said she was right all along about me. I'd never live it down.

I went into to college, in New York City, with a clear plan about my future. It had been crystal clear since the time I was 4. Pre-med then medical school then working with a sports team as an orthopedist or kinisiologist. That all changed, one step at a time. All this is relevent because it all leads, domino by domino to me living in Israel and where I am in my life, right now. I took 2 psychology classes my freshman year, just for fun and credits. I was extremely surprised to find out that I was more interested in figuring out the mind than deciphering the body. So, I changed my major to psychology. Israel's still not even a speck on my radar. Also, at this time, I was dating some-one seriously. He was in Yeshiva/College, and we had been talking about marriage, my moving and transferring to a college near where he was. I actually even applied to one without my parents knowing. At the beginning of my sophomore year, two unthinkables happen. First of all, my boy-friend had informed his parents that he was going to be quitting Yeshiva, going to college full time, and getting a job, so that we could get married. In response to this, his parents, who had never approved of me (especially his mother), suggested he take a year off and go learn in Israel. After the year, he'd come back, make a decision about his/our future, and they'd respect what he decided. He agreed, and I was devastated by it. I mean, I knew exactly what his parents was doing. They expected him to go to a religious Yeshiva, where as many of the 1 year post-high school seminaries and Yeshivot do, and get brain-washed into becoming more religious and seeing me as not good enough any-more. Then, came the ultimate unthinkable. On a perfectly and uncharacteristically blue and hot September morning, on my way to class, 2 planes crashed into the World Trade Center towars, and the world as we/I knew it came crashing down.
Tune in next time for the next installment...

21 Comments:

At 4:48 PM, Blogger Rafi G said...

scintillating! I am on my chairs edge and can't wait for part two!!

 
At 7:30 PM, Blogger westbankmama said...

Great story, and it is just the beginning. Do you want me to include this in my post? I have no trouble adding updates...

 
At 8:11 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Thanks mama. I'd really appreciate that. I'm glad you like it.

rafi, haha, don't worry. The next installment is coming tomorrow or the day after.
-OC

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger menachem said...

you wanted to be a kinisiologist when you were four?

 
At 10:47 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Well, I didn't know what the term was for it back then. I knew the term sports doctor. Translating that into the the more appropriate "Kinisiology" came a little bit later.
-OC

 
At 11:13 PM, Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Great story indeed. Thanks.

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger shlemazl said...

Is this why you have the "Never forget" banner?

 
At 12:05 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

AHDS is a "modern orthodoz Zionist school"?

Not when I went there. They always had the Yom Haatzmaut and yon hazikaron assemblies. but I don't remember anything besides that.

maybe I graduated too early.

J.

 
At 1:15 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Yes, shlamzl, I was there that fateful day. I still have nightmares about it... almost 5 years later.

jcop, what year did you graduate? It has gotten a lot more visible with its Zionism especially since they brought in the Kollel program and an Israeli head principal.
-OC

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

that might give away my identity...

but shimansky was still there.

J.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

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At 8:59 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

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At 9:00 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

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At 9:02 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

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At 9:05 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

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At 9:52 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

sorry about the multiple posts. blogger went crazy for a little while.

J.

 
At 12:06 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Oh g-d, he left when I was in 7th grade. A lot has changed in Akiva since then. A LOT!
-OC

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

I can imagine. I havent been back to Detroit itself in almost 8 yrs or so.

I know the school is now on 12 mile and I'm sure the only teacher still there from my time is Rabbi Cohen who will be there until the day they close the place down.

J.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Well, actually, Sklar and Clement are still there also, but other than that, yeah all different teachers.
-OC

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

actually, I'm not too surprised that they are both still there.

I always enjoyed Mrs. Clement's class eventhough I never liked Math that much. I really liked the idea of test corrections where you could get over 100 on a test.

J.

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Yeah, good times, good times...
-OC

 

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