May 29, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 29, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Pushing Ahead Through Uncertain Times

Baruch Hashem, we have a dream, and slowly and sometimes painfully we are striving to fulfill this dream. This time we will make it onto the plane together, iyH.

An entire year ago I was booked on the Nefesh B’Nefesh Mega Flight on August 13 after getting my approval to make aliyah. However, we were making a split aliyah. I was going before my husband, whose back was bothering him and was unable to leave with me. I wished to fulfill my dream of going on the Mega Flight with an entire plane filled with olim traveling through the skies together to realize their future in the land of Israel. There would be a wonderful ceremony before takeoff, and an even bigger celebration upon landing with throngs of people, especially my large family, coming to the airport to greet us and welcome us to Israel. Even more than all this I wanted to be in Israel to help out our children, who were expecting their third sabra. I wanted to be there for them.

However, there was one more hoop to get through and that was to apply for my aliyah visa. As I was about to leave for the Israeli Consulate at the end of July 2019, I received a phone call from Nefesh B’Nefesh telling me that they had given my seat to a lone soldier. With that, I turned to Hakadosh Boruchu and said “Hmmm, what’s up with this?”

Unfortunately, the answer came a few days later when the test results came back and we discovered that the backache was actually non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As his treatments ended in February, Shmuel didn’t need to be seen by his oncologist for six months. We were ready to go to Israel to meet our newest grandson, Yair.

Unexpectedly the skies closed to travel and COVID days set in. I set to work applying for my visa, my husband’s permission and our son’s status. What I thought would take days ended up taking months and months. This time was filled with early morning calls to Israel, hundreds of emails, and finding new support on a Facebook page titled Making Aliyah This Year, where answers to questions were quickly answered. I remained focused on the goal when everything looked less likely to happen, but always trusting in Hakadosh Boruchu to allow our plan to be his plan. When lots of bumps came our way I would remind myself that Hakadosh Boruchu had a plan.

Fast forward six months. Today, we were blessed to be texted by Dr. Robert Alter, who had diagnosed Shmuel a year ago, who let us know his latest PET scan was clear, baruch Hashem. Both of us had unexpected mole surgery yesterday to treat skin cancer, but once again we were blessed to be treated by accommodating and supportive doctors who ensured us that we were treated in a timely manner. During these prior months, we finally got visas and permission to come to make aliyah. New protocols were even created to accommodate olim, including our son Ari, who had not been registered as Israelis before COVID and will first make aliyah after they land in Israel.

Even with all our planning and hoping, actually saying goodbye is especially challenging during these times. We have been blessed to live in an amazing community in Englewood for 35 years. We raised our children here, they went to yeshivas here, I taught Israeli dance here for many years. Baruch Hashem, we celebrated many smachot and Yom Tovim in our beautiful home, in our shuls and with our many friends. When Shmuel took ill, a WhatsApp group was created by our friends to help out in any way that was necessary. Others just reached out on their own. We know the friendships we have made here will continue, though we will miss everyone and welcome all to come to stay with us in Rehovot. The most difficult part of all of this is that we will be leaving without seeing our children and grandchildren who live in Memphis and Plano, Texas, before we make aliyah because of the pandemic. That breaks my heart.

Though we had been in contract for over two months to sell our home, in the end it fell through as the buyers were not able to secure their mortgage. We were supposed to close the day we left for the plane. Hakadosh Boruchu had a different plan. Now we will work with a wonderful realtor, Marc Stein, who will market and care for the house until the right buyer comes along. For that we are grateful.

In spite of all the challenges, we never let go of our dream to reunite with our grandson, who we still have not met, all our grandchildren, our children, our sisters and brothers-in-law, our great-nephews who just entered the army, and our many great-nephews, great-nieces, nieces and nephews and cousins who made aliyah ahead of us. A week to go…am Yisrael chai!

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles