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Our brothers and sisters are coming home

Danielle Mor - 29 May 2020

It is often assumed, that when Jews make Aliyah, they are in fact coming home, to the place G-d is directing them back to. One might think that means the return is easy, natural, with a feeling that all is in place.

To some degree, that is true, all Jews making Aliyah truly are coming home.

But while the moment of Aliyah is indeed full of joy, it is at the same time full of fear, full of hardship and quite often with an uneasy feelings of not belonging.

After all, so much is new to the olim: the language, the weather, the way people speak to one another (who doesn’t love Israeli Chutzpah…).

Even the taste of bread and water lays different upon their tongue.

It takes time, learning, faith and love to get through these feelings, to shake off the “generation of the desert” and to truly arrive in the Promised Land.

In that sense, all Jews making Aliyah are similar to Ruth of the bible whose story we read as we celebrate Shavuot and Pentecost.

Olim choose to leave all that is known to them, to cling to what they believe and to what they love, crossing oceans and thousands of miles filled with many fears and uncertainties.

For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people…” Ruth 1:16

Those of us who believe in Aliyah, who love the olim, must be similar to Boaz, assume our bible mandated responsibility to help the olim. Not only to make Aliyah, but to thrive in Aliyah.


Now in the times of the Corona pandemic, this is even more important and at the same time difficult.
As we struggle to bring olim on evacuation flights, seek new paths in the wilderness, realizing the fear and urgency of Aliyah at this time with growing anti-Semitism, we must first ensure the health of the olim as we guarantee their stay in a 14 day quarantine and later comes the time to not just make Aliyah, but to thrive in Aliyah.

Such is the story of the Aliyah from Ethiopia that took place just last week as on Jerusalem Day.
A day celebrating the unification of the city under Israel’s rule and also remembering the sacrifice of the Ethiopian community that lost 4,000 men, women and children as they struggled through the wilderness to make Aliyah.

119 new olim from Ethiopia came down the gangway, bent down to kiss the ground and received a flower of welcome from none other than the newly appointed minister of Aliyah, Pnina Tamano –Shata, the first Minister of Ethiopian origin.

This is what that amazing moment looked like:


G-d willing, they will thrive in their Aliyah.


Happy Holidays!


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