Aliyah realism.

Just met with an old friend who is visiting/studying for the summer. She considers aliyah from time to time. It’s been a while since I’ve sat down for a conversation with a friend from ‘home’. Especially one who considers making aliyah.

I listened to myself and realized how realistic I sounded. I don’t mean to discourage. I guess what I’m looking for is for people to see real life here. I know what it’s like, living in faraway America, or wherever, hearing stories and getting dreamy about falafel.

The only non-Israeli-born person who ever came somewhat close to speaking to me that way about living in Israel was a guy I dated at the end of college who was sort of half-Israeli and considering aliyah himself. He dared to preach financial difficulty… He dared to paint a picture that wasn’t coated in soft plush. I didn’t ignore him; in fact, I heeded his words. He was the only one who seemed realistic about the whole thing and that sat well with me.

Is that wrong? Is my being realistic to potential olim wrong? Even before I got here, and forced myself to do away with any expectations – was that wrong?

I think I’m doing pretty well for myself, all things considered. I’m halfway through a hebrew degree. I have a job that works out on many angles. I’m married (that’s a good thing, right?).

You know what; if I had stayed in New York, I feel like I might not have been so well-off. And I don’t think it’s necessarily living in Israel that got me so lucky. Maybe it was the absence of expectations and the open-mindedness in general.

Maybe my three aliyah rules are meant to work for anyone, anywhere.