Today is our 7 year Aliyah anniversary. People often talk about 7 as a monumental number. There’s the 7 year itch in a marriage, made famous by the movie entitled “The Seven Year Itch” with Marilyn Monroe. Survive past seven and you’ve really accomplished something.
Judaism is surrounded by the symbolism of the number 7. Hashem created the world in 7 days; we count the Omer for 7 weeks before Shavuot; we observe Shmita on the land every 7 years; there are 7 guests who come to visit us in our Sukkoh during Sukkot; the Temple Menorah had 7 branches; there are 7 Noachide laws that pertain to people of all religions; 7 blessings are recited at a Jewish wedding and we sit shiva for 7 days; the first verse in the Torah contains 7 words; the Jewish New Year occurs each year in the 7th month; and we celebrate 7 days of celebrations surrounding a Jewish wedding.
There’s something to this 7 thing.
And here we are – at 7 years.
It’s a bit hard right now in my emotional state to be reflective about something as celebratory as our 7 year milestone, but I think that I owe it to myself, to Zionism and to Hashem to recognize the importance of this achievement.
A little less than 8 years ago, we decided that we would pack up our entire life and move to the other side of the world. On the day that we told our best friends, they stayed up all night talking and decided that they would be following the year after.
At that time, we were leaving everything that we knew. Our families. Our language. Our very good and fulfilling jobs. Our community. Our friends. Our home.
7 years later, I have to laugh at how things have turned out so far.
When we stepped off of our Nefesh B'Nefesh flight and arrived in Neve Daniel, we knew one family in the Yishuv (neighborhood). One. They were our dear friends from Potomac, the Abbos, but they were the only family that we knew and one of only about 5 families that we knew in the entire country.
And then, 6 years ago today we stood at the airport and welcomed the Frankls into our embrace as they joined us on Aliyah and in Neve Daniel, fulfilling the dream that they had harbored for much longer than had I.
And then 5 years ago today (or around this date), we stood at the airport and welcomed the Levins into our embrace as they joined us on Aliyah and in Neve Daniel.
And then 4 years ago today (or so) we stood at the airport and welcomed the Levys into our embrace as they joined us on Aliyah and in Neve Daniel.
These were our friends from America; friends that we left behind. And today, they all live within walking distance of my beautiful home.
When I see Rivka Frankl in the park holding my baby, Yakir; or my son, Amichai, playing with Ellen’s son Yosef; or when I see Susan walking Tali down my block, I find myself catching my breath. It’s an absolute miracle to me that we have all picked up our lives together from Potomac and Baltimore and moved to the same neighborhood in Israel.
May this first 7 year hurdle that we’ve reached be the first of many such beautiful milestones. And may we all continue to support each other on our Aliyah journeys with renewed health, happiness and prosperity in the homeland of our people.