Answering anonymous.

Anonymous left this comment the other day. It’s a topic I’ve been meaning to address and haven’t had the energy to face.

So do you have any regrets? Do you feel more spiritual as a Jew living there? Does it feel like you are just living in another country, and you are just ‘comfortable?’ Do you see yourself living there permanently, even with all the ups and downs? Just curious…

I don’t have regrets. As a general rule, I just don’t. Everything we do ought to have taught us something, and if it hasn’t, then maybe you need to get your eyes fixed.

I don’t feel more spiritual as a Jew. This is a cause for letdown in my view because I never expected to be a more spiritual Jew living in Israel. For me, spirituality has been a project developing since whenever, and it’s been in a funk for a long time. Israeli society, as is, even with all its historical wonder, was never going to change that for me.

I don’t think it’s like living in another country because so much about my everyday experience is emotional. If I lived in Spain, I don’t think I’d kick myself for not speaking Spanish perfectly; it wouldn’t mean as much to do it. People-watching wouldn’t be the same in any other country. When I lived in England those six months, the feeling was definitely different. I tend to feel like an outsider no matter where I am, but here it’s almost as if everyone is an outsider, so I actually fit in.

Permanently? Who knows. Has anything ever really been permanent, except maybe the scar on my ankle? When I started out here – and even before – I had one rule: take one day at a time. I’ve been sticking to it. It’s all I can do. It’s the same as marriage, I’ve found. You can’t look at the big picture all at once or else you’ll get dizzy. I can’t vouch for five years from now, or two weeks. I just want to make it through tomorrow. That’s probably more of my own personal issue than an aliyah issue, though I’d imagine lots of olim agree.

…I do think about ‘my kids’ growing up here though. For whatever that’s worth.






  1. Anonymous Avatar


    I was the ‘Anonymous’ you responded to. My own post…pretty cool. I’m so sorry I forgot to sign my name. Anyways, I am considering making aliyah alone in the not-to-distant future and so I love reading blogs, yours in particular, because you show both the highs and lows of living in a beautiful country that is chock full of contradictions.

    A friend of mine moved to Israel 4 years ago with her family. She is in grad school in Boston now but has every intention of returning when she finishes. She was raised in New York, and she has told me that Israel and New York feel pretty much the same to her, that she is comfortable living in either place, and that both places feel like home. She wants to return to Israel because her family is there, but other than that, she said a lot of the ‘specialness’ that drew her to the country, has been replaced by comfort. Interesting note.

    I hope I didn’t offend you in any way. I have been to Israel enough and have heard enough stories to not be jumping into this blindly. In fact I have the intention of moving there for a year as opposed to making aliyah at first, just because I know that living there is much different that studying there for a semester, or going on an Aish Hatorah program, and I don’t want to feel forced into sticking it out and losing my love for the country. Like people say, living there isn’t for everyone.

    Keep posting and thank you for responding to my questions. Keep following your heart.


  2. eliesheva Avatar

    Hey Marni,

    I have to say, you are approaching it really really well. You need to be 100% realistic while being inspired, optimistic, creative, open-minded and flexible at the same time. I mean, that’s what I would tell anyone interested in moving here. You have to be fluid; go with the flow. Because, at least in my first two years here, a lot has changed, and I’ve been open enough to change with them.

    You also don’t have to make aliyah right away if you want to test it. I’ve known a quite a few single people who have come here to live, but have first settled in, found a job, etc and then made the official aliyah. The paperwork and teudat zeut are not the point.

    If you ever want to ask me anything, please feel free. You can email me too(look in my profile). Your questions won’t offend me; I’m hard to offend, at least in these cases.

    Good luck!

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