Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Off The Sidelines

By Naomi Kohn (Klians) 2001
Bogeret Bat Zion Program 

I always tell people that the reason I made aliyah is because I went to Orot. Rav Shvat, in his inspiring Torat Eretz Yisrael class told us to always remember במדבר ל”ג נ”ג, and remember I did. It took 11 years, marriage, four children and the purchase and sale of a house, among several other hurdles, but we made it. When asked by Nefesh B’Nefesh why we chose to make aliyah, my reply was obvious - because Hashem said so.

The past 3+ years of living in Eretz Yisrael have been filled with moments of intense happiness, sadness, anxiety, fear, wonder, questioning, yearning, excitement, and now most often thankfulness. There is nothing like waking up to run with the sunrise in the Judean Hills where our forefathers created history. I now have the zechut to daven at the Kotel, Kever Rachel and Mearat Hamachpela all within a short drive. Upon completion of learning the entire Sefer Bereishit in Kita Aleph, our children recite the Birkat Yaakov by heart in the very spot where it all took place.

As each year passes that I am here in our land, I am continuously amazed by the people of Am Yisrael - by their strength, conviction, caring for each other, and open ruchniyut. Unfortunately, in recent times there have been tragedies one after another. We are told that Am Yisrael is one body, and when one limb is injured, the entirety of us feel its pain. This is what it means to be part of Am Yisrael. A nation that davens for each other, cares for one another, lives for one another and dies for one another. Never before have I felt so much a part of Am Yisrael.

Baruch Hashem we were recently zoche to have our first sabra. As I am now a mother of four boys and one girl, I know that IY”H the time will soon come for my sons to give back and battle for our nation. We are intensely proud to no longer be sitting on the sidelines just learning about Jewish History, but actively taking part in shaping Jewish History. In this zechut may we merit the coming of Moshiach- אחישנה.

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