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UNTIL ALIYAH DO US APART

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How I Became A Big Fan of Aliyah


There are good days and there are bad days in life, and this is one of them. They said, I will go to Israel when I got my passport. I got my first passport at the age of 17 and was young then. They said we will make aliyah in the next 2-3 years. I did not feel any remorse when I was left behind the following year. Those were days when Bnei Menashe youngsters are given priority, that too with limited seat. Moreover I was still young in Judaism, nevertheless, our family start practicing  Orthodox Judaism when I was a kid.


Hope against Hope is the fate of me and many others.Youngsters and not-so-youngsters began making aliyah in the next 2-3 years. I remain calm as usual even when we were left behind for the second, third, fourth and so on. As year passed, I came to realized that my 10 years old passport validity expired. Ten years has elapsed!!. I asked myself, am I too old to make aliyah? when will I go to Israel now without any valid passport?  I really feel loss at that moment. I had to renew my passport which in India takes a never ending list of documents, time and money. I however manage to have it renewed after reasonable period of time, which drew hole in my pocket.

Whenever anyone has to make aliyah, everyone had to take the pain to go and bid him farewell. That is not enough, almost everyone has to take a trip to the airport to shed some tears of separation. We don't know when will the next aliyah be. We were families, friends and love each other dearly until aliyah do us apart and till we meet again. In the end, this became a custom we are accustomed in.

Now policy changes in accordance with time. No youngsters would be allow for aliyah without families. I know the reason why and everyone knows it. The new policy is good, but I became the innocent victim who suffered. For nearly a decade there were not official aliyah, however those families who has relatives in Israel made aliyah in private. Until finally, in 2007 August, with the help of Shavei Israel Orgn. about 270 Bnei Menashe Jewish family made Aliyah. The funny part of me was that, I still don't feel bad about it. Aliyah of 2007 revived the hope for aliyah the following years amongst Bnei Menashe. I feel I'm getting older. No aliyah as anticipated till then. So in Oct. 2009 I made my mind up to go to Israel which I finally succeed. Jumping at several small opportunities may get us there more quickly than waiting for one big one to come along. I was in Yeshivat Mechon Meir for 3 months, I returned after, hoping that aliyah would be within a year. I now need to ponder over whether the road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler  OR rather Hope is the poor man's bread. I now humorously titled myself as "A Big Fan of Olim"

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