Thursday, June 18, 2009

So why am I doing it?

This is of course the first question that comes up whenever I tell anybody about my plan. Though I boarded various thought trains over the years to arrive at my current destination, for simplicity's sake I will detail only the most recent and powerful.

First I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Rachel. I just turned 20, and have taken a hiatus from my formal undergraduate education. I spent I large part of this past year traveling around Australia and Asia. And I completed an accelerated massage program in the hopes that when I finished my travels I could earn more than 6.50 an hr back in the states. At some point in my adventuring I decided to make Aliyah. This possibility has long been present as an amorphous idea, but evolved inexplicably over a few months into an urgent, wildly exciting reality.

And what, pray tell, sparked this momentous decision? Before I answer this, your burning query, I must first explain that my desires, as far as lifestyle goes, are rather unusual. I live for travel and excitement and I love a challenge, so the aspects of Aliyah that might deter some individuals, especially those with families, are part of the attraction for me. The main impetus though was my recently inflamed Zionistic passion. I think it was the Gaza offensive that finally did it for me. The backlash Jews experienced globally and the terrible press that Israel was suffering were so ridiculous, utterly hypocritical, and largely disseminated from a standpoint of complete ignorance of the region’s history. I could write pages. Suddenly, there was this disturbing legitimacy given to views and actions of flagrant anti-Semitism. I watched this all unfold, and feelings of fierce pride and righteous indignation grew inside me. I realized that Israel is the single most important thing in this world to every Jew, everywhere around the world, regardless of their religious observance (or lack thereof as the case may be). For thousands of years we have been at the mercy of various empires, and seldom has that arrangement ended well for us. And now we have our own land, our own money (well we’ve always had that ;) ), and our own military (a damn good one at that). Israel is our true home. And by extension of my realizations I resolved that I would move to Israel and do my part in defending what is mine.

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