Welcome to Israel Rules!

Powered by WebAds

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

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

As my boy-friend's year in Israel went on, I noticed several changes occurring over our conversations on the phone. Again, my moving to Israel is nowhere on my life map. 1, he is becoming, as I suspected, more "religious" and starting to talk "funny" about religious life. 2, He has a growing love for Israel, one in which he never had before. He had always been a big American patriot, and Israel had never been a speck on his radar either. Eventually, he decides he's going to join the Israeli Army, and that I wasn't religiously up to par with him. We break up, and I actually started hating Israel. I blamed the country for our break up and vowed that I would never go there again. I said I would still support it, but my heart would be that much more disconnected from it.

Over the course of the next year, I decided that I wanted to go into Forensic Psychology and work for the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. However, during the summer before my senior year, a new idea creeped into my head. The US Army pays for your graduate degree after you agree to sign up for a 4-6 year stint with them. We were already in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I thought what better way to support my country than to be a mental health professional for our men and women in uniform. That's when making Aliyah started creeping into my head. That's when my love for Israel started to really lift itself in my heart. It was what I least expected. The second the idea of joining the Army came to me, so to did another thought that I never knew was there. Something in my head started whispering, if you want to help your fellow country-men and women in uniform, what better way is there to help than to help your fellow Jewish brothers and sisters fighting for Israel's survival. I ignored that voice, but it kept louder and louder until I just couldn't ignore it anymore.

When I finally listened to that voice, I came up with a plan. I would go to Graduate school in America first, get some experience with the FBI first, where I had been preliminarilly accepted to their internship program. Then, after that, I would make Aliyah. Well, you know the old saying "Men tracht und God laucht" (Men plan and God laughs). I met some-one, an Israeli. He was in New York after his army service in order to make and save up some money before he went back to Israel for college. He was looking for some friends to hang out with, and we managed to meet. It was never supposed to become serious since I knew that he was going back to Israel at the end of the year, and I was going to be starting Grad school at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice that fall, but things did become serious, and the idea of Aliyah was ever more pressing. Then, one fateful week-end happened that would solidify my decision. I knew Israel needed me, and I needed her.

Before this week-end, I was on the fence. Make Aliyah after college, or wait until after Grad school. The Israel Club was holding a Shabbaton and had invited, amongst others, Rabbi Binny Friedman. Over the course of the Shabbat, he gave speaches, but his round-table story at Seuda Shlishit (the third meal) effected me to the point where I still cry when I think about now, 2 years later. After that, I knew that the time for my Aliyah was NOW. It was very emotional and stressful. My husband-to-be and I went through some hard times. The emotional strain of the decision and planning and discussing the plans with our families actually made me physically sick for a while. One thing was certain and uncontested. My decision had nothing to do with him. I was doing this for me.
Stay Tuned for the Final Chapter of the Story...


At 5:21 PM, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Is this the same Rabbi Binny Friedman who led the survivors out of Sbarro's?

At 12:04 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Is the one you're thinking of the head of Isralight?

At 3:49 AM, Blogger Emah S said...

great story!

At 8:49 AM, Blogger Jerusalemcop said...

I heard Binny speak years ago when I was in NCSY, I always remember him being a great speaker.


At 12:07 PM, Blogger amechad said...

Yo, you should have been in class instead of writing this! Boo on you!


At 12:22 PM, Blogger westbankmama said...

The story keeps getting better...

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

am, I was at my cousin's wedding, not writing. I wrote this before class.


Post a Comment

<< Home