Happy Aliyahversary, Binny! Thanks.
It’s been 4 years since I’ve officially made aliyah, 6 years since I’ve been bothering my parents to let me become a citizen, 8 years since I moved here for the first time, and 22 years since I’ve been dreaming of Israel.
Most things I dreamed of doing/accomplishing from the age of 16 have so far come true to some extent: Study in an Israeli University, learn in an Israeli Yeshiva, do high school here in Israel, work at some fancy startup in Tel Aviv, join the army.
I’ve completed my list. I’ve lived my dream.
I turned in my IDF cap for an IDF uniform, my Startup Nation book for a job at an Israeli startup, the Israeli Day Parade for random pangs of pride living in Israel daily.
But what happens when you complete a dream? It’s never enough. In a good way. One can’t see themselves as having peaked at the age of 22. They’ve got so much more time to fulfill more dreams!
As is said in the Broadway Musical Hamilton: “Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now! History is happening in Manhattan and we just happen to be in the greatest city in the world.”
They got the city wrong, but inspiring nonetheless.
A Rabbi that I used to look up to says that the Jewish State is our unique privilege to be able to mold and be part of Jewish history. A history that will resonate for thousands of years and will forever be written in our nation’s annals.
It’s a similar thought I had on this day 4 years ago. This isn’t the end rather the beginning.
As Hamilton put so eloquently: “we studied and we fought and we killed for the notion of a nation we now get to build for once in your life, take a stand with pride I don’t understand how you stand to the side”
Since today 4 years ago I’ve striven to stand up proudly and try to build that nation we’ve all fought so hard for and now, as an answer to our prayers, we have the privilege of building that nation.
There’s beauty in Israel’s youth. Just as in America’s youth where immigrants, like I am now, were not only accepted but excelled. “America, you great unfinished symphony, you sent for me. You let me make a difference. A place where even orphan immigrants can leave their fingerprints and rise up.”
Israel is now that great unfinished symphony that I, and many many more, are still working on writing. Every Israeli has that unique privilege to contribute.
So here’s a toast to all new and old Israeli immigrants: May our dreams not be checked at the tarmac of our Aliyah flight. Israel is not a distant dream from the diaspora but rather something we get to continually dream of here and, unlike in the diaspora, make those dreams of our country come true. To quote Hamilton one last time, “Immigrants: we get the job done.”