What a year. What a year! I CANNOT BELIEVE I MADE IT THROUGH A YEAR! Had anyone told me how hard this year would be, I don’t think I’d have the courage to come, and yet, the challenge itself is what draws me to stay- I am so bonded with the land that there is nowhere else in the world I want to live.
Spirituality is a funny thing. We think it’s supposed to feel good; we look forward to the high, that first kiss on the Kosel (Western Wall), the view from the top of the mountain, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg with Jewish spirituality.
Jewish spirituality is a dynamic relationship with G-d, the ups and downs, passion and lacking, the reaching and desire to forever grow closer. Sometimes spirituality is as mundane as missing the bus and saying, ‘it was meant to be.’ Often, spirituality is clouded in what we experience as physical discomfort. Ultimately, feel-good spirituality is just a means for the goal of reaching oneness with the Creator.
When I thought of Israel before making Aliyah, some glorious moments came to mind. After a year of being here, I realize that the hard times are what gave me grounded-ness here, the feeling that I can be one with my Creator through thick and thin.
Recently, I have started to feel security here, like my foundations are nearly complete and ready to be built upon. My days are getting more routine, my Hebrew is significantly improving, and I’m emotionally stronger and more balanced. Routine has been the best outcome of perseverance for me.
I’ve been noticing my need for quiet and solitude a lot lately, mostly because I scarcely find it. There’s a rose garden a short walk away from my apartment that I hope to start spending more time in.
Last week, I began school for Chinese medicine! It’s the beginning of a 4 year degree, all in Hebrew, and it is brilliant!! Tomorrow will be my second day of classes, which are only 1 day a week and online for now. It was intimidating to sit through hours of class in Hebrew, but completely stimulating and fascinating at the same time.
A few months a ago, I had a phone session with Herschel Lazeroff, who is a Jewish healer in Baltimore. My health was really downhill, and I could not get my energy up despite lifestyle changes, diet, and anything else I tried. (This was an ongoing thing, unrecognized by Western medicine, and what got me into alternative medicine in the first place- story for another time.) I was at my wits end and this was my last effort before really falling apart.
He had me write down a sentence that seemed ridiculous at the time. “I am blessed with gifts and talents which I am now able to reveal to the world.” How in the world could I share my talents if I was barely coping with my own life?
Three days ago, I spotted the sentence on a sticky note sitting on my dresser, and it hit me. I AM ready. I am ready because it has been hard, I’ve been sick, I have had lows, and now I can HELP people! It’s so beautiful it makes me cry as I’m writing it. I thought my troubles incapacitated me, but actually, they’ve given me life!
Sometimes I think I know how Hashem wants me to serve Him, and it’s so aggravating when I can’t serve Him that way.
The redemption only comes when I accept and open my awareness to the present moment, and allow Him to show me how to serve Him best. So far, His path for me has taken me to woods I’ve never seen, but there is so much potential here.
L’chaim to many more years in Israel!🥂🍷