Thursday, June 23, 2005

Friends in transit

From the moment I arrived almost 9 years ago, I was aware of the different reasons why we make Aliyah. Amongst my first friends in Ulpan, L was here for love, D for adventure and J was looking to find himself. We formed an important part of each other's initial network; they are all back in England now; L didn't find what she was looking for; D completed his mission; J went on to look for something else.

Scrolling through my phone book, I have plenty more Ds, Ls and Js who are still here, happily making their way in Israeli society.....for now.

We come to Israel for our many different reasons, build relationships, hope that things will turn out for the best - but inevitably sometimes they don't. Tonight we said goodbye to two friends who are going back; the process, from the moment they announced their decision, has been a wrench for us both as we are very close to them. A hole will be left in our lives - but the nature of our social circle means that we are used to making transient friends; whether they end up leaving for Modi'in or Ra'anana, London or New York. These ones will be more difficult but we'll get over it. Seeing them since they've made the decision, it's clearly the right move for them; she has a job lined up already and the difference in her demeanour is palpable.

In an early episode of the sitcom "Roseanne", DJ, the snotty little boy asks his Mom "When did you decide that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with Dad?" She thinks and answers "I haven't decided that yet". Aliyah is like a marriage - you make the commitment out of love, try your damnedest to make it work but you never know what the future holds.



Chai18 said...

which is my biggest fear, what if it just doesn't work out, what if your life's dream is just not meant to be??

Gilly said...

I don't see anything wrong with trying and failing - I do get pissed of with people who tell me that they've wanted to make Aliyah for the last 20 years but have always had something stopping them.

ifyouwillit said...

I have been in Israel for five months and the "what if it doesn't work" was a question I was asked many a time. I would never have forgiven myself had I not taken the plunge to make it work.

Who knows what the future will hold, I can't say I will never leave Israel, but I strongly hope to make it, become succesful, and spend the rest of my life in the country I always dreamed of living in.

"If you will it, it is no dream" - Herzl was a wise man, and thats why I live my life by his wise words.

Sabra said...

I leave Tuesday on Aliyah... hoping to make it work... I guess that's where you have to start.

Liza said...

I'm guessing that we all have our doubts about remaining here at one time or another. As happy as we can be, there is no denying the fact that we have uprooted ourselves from another life in order to make new lives here, often leaving behind family and friends, and essentially, all that is familiar. I've been in Israel for nearly 15 years, have a family here, Israeli friends, a job, etc., and am generally happy here, yet there is always a pull to "go back", even if it's only for a few years.

Yael K said...

Yipes Gilly I'm one of those "always wanting to make Aliyah for 20 years but having something stop me" people: first it was the parents, then the (thankfully now) Ex. People have a hard time making even small life changes (moving to another city or state, changing jobs, careers etc) and I think only a very small percent of people have the resources (emotionally more so than financially), gumption or are crazy enough to take such a big step no matter how much they might like to and dream of doing so.

Gilly said...

Katie - you're getting up and doing it. In some cases there are very genuine reasons for not coming on Aliyah but if people need to and want to, generally they can surmount the obstacles.