What is the solution????
I am a very big believer in the motto “every problem has a solution.” I watch family after family make Aliyah. Some come more financially secure, others less, some come alone, many come as a family.
Each one of the Olim has their own difficulties. Dealing with Israeli bureaucracy again and again, lifts from Overseas arriving late and having to pay extra for storage and inspection (adding extra frustration and anger to an already challenging move), kids have good days and then having total melt downs, jobs that were promised before Aliyah not sounding so secure, the heat, the difficulties of communicating, reading texts, bills and millions of WhatsApp from schools, neighborhoods and chugim groups.
I have come to admire each Oleh I have gotten to know this summer. There might be at times little snide remarks between husbands and wives and quiet reprimands made by parents to their kids at the bank after waiting for the account to be opened (which seems to take an endless amount of time). But I am constantly amazed. After such a big life change and such a strong sense of OMG – THIS IS NOT EASY!!! I was expecting total melt downs by kids, anger and irritation between couples. Instead I saw time after time people responding quietly and calmly, taking things in stride.
What I hear more and more from people is that they feel welcomed but still feel alone, still strangers. They are invited out for meals, and yet are a bit sad and lonely. Older kids might look at their parents angrily for uprooting them, even though they can already verbalize that the life in Israel and the freedom kids have here is so much more than what they had back home.
I want to help. That has always been me. But I realize there is only so much I can do. I can be the person to go to if looking for help with Misrad Hapnim, where to buy an Artscroll Siddur, where to go to for a Rav Kav, how to go about getting a discount in Arnona. I can listen and give guidance and support. But I can’t make the hardships of Aliyah go away because I now realize what the solution is….
Time will help kids speak Hebrew and feel more comfortable running around freely in their neighborhood. Time will make Olim feel at home davening in their new shul or knowing what each cut of meat in Rami Levi really is. Time will help each Oleh and each Oleh family settle in this new country- time will help to say there are more pluses than minus to living here in Israel. I can help with shortcuts of getting a TZ, passport and getting an earlier appointment at Misrad Haklita. But there are no short cuts with time. It has to run its course… Ups and downs until בעה everyone will feel like they have finally come home. Don’t rush it- there is no protexia with time. Take a deep breath, keep your head up high and focus on your short term and long-term goals.