Friday, October 16, 2009

Friends At My Door

Stella and Romi on Purim











I am often amazed when I look around at the coincidences in my life. Whether you want to call it Hashem working, or coincidence, or the cosmic way of the world...it's really quite amazing for me to look at my life in Israel and the people who have joined me here.

I was sitting at a wonderful class this week when someone that I know, Janine, came in. During the class, it struck me how amazing it is that I picked up to live here, in Israel, and have found so many people that I'm connected to in one way or another from the States.

Years ago, as we were becoming more observant, Josh was in graduate school with Ellen. We watched Ellen's relationship with her future husband, Amos, develop and we were privileged to be at their wedding. They have very good friends that they spoke of often, Gershon and Janine. So here I was, sitting in a class in Efrat years later, with Janine sitting behind me. She now lives five minutes from us in Alon Shvut.

Ellen and Amos? Our friends for over 15 years? They made aliyah last year and are living in Neve Daniel with us.

Here's the next set of "coincidences" that occurred: When we were expecting Matan, I was trying to figure out which type of birthing course I wanted to take. My doctor recommended that I go to Lamaze and she told me about a great teacher, Aliza. We took Lamaze and loved Aliza. You guessed it - Aliza lives three blocks away.

Around the same time, 10 years ago, we met Jordan and Stella and John and Susan. We were all very good friends in Potomac, and we all grew in observance together. When we were making aliyah, one of the hardest things (aside from leaving family, of course) was to leave my friends. We had developed great relationships in Potomac, and it was very difficult to say goodbye.

Today? I see all four of them virtually every day of the week. John and Susan live one block up and Stella and Jordan live four blocks away!

(Picture of Stella and Jordan, John and Susan, us and some of our kids)

Sometimes, I'll be at the grocery store and I'll see one of Stella's kids, or I'll be walking and catch a glimpse of John and Susan's son, or I'll head out to the park and run into Ellen and her kids...and I'll be overcome with goosebumps. There aren't words for my surprise at finding so many of my good friends here, on my journey, with me in Israel.

Three of the numerous obstacles to aliyah that I faced before we left were that I didn't want to leave my friends, I didn't want us to leave our "safe" jobs and I didn't want to leave our great house. We live in a much more amazing house here then we ever had in the States; Josh has profoundly fulfilling work and I've repackaged myself professionally in very interesting ways; and many of our friends have somehow appeared at our doorstep - to stay! I couldn't have planned it better had I been given the chance to control it myself.

Hashem certainly works in strange ways - and it's often only by letting go and hoping that things will work out that we get the chance to have them work out beyond our wildest dreams.

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