Anyone who has ever made aliya will tell you that you will never get here by talking about making aliya, no matter how much talking you do. There is only one way to make aliya – you must (figuratively) open a calendar and throw a dart at it. When the dart hits a date, you mark it as the day that you are going, and don’t pull out the dart! Our “dart” hit at July of 1997...
The above paragraph did not make it into the final cut of my book but, maybe, it should have. In any case, for those of us already here in Eretz Yisrael, Parshas Shlach is up this week. You folks still straggling behind in Chutz l'Aretz are - well - still straggling behind.
Parshas Shlach represents the challenges in bitachon that are part of living in Eretz Yisrael. Though I can attest that moving an established family to Eretz Yisrael is no small feat, once done, it is no small achievement, either. Not everybody is zocheh. But everybody can be zocheh. It depends on why you want to come. The key is bitachon and emunah. To make a successful Aliya one must be willing to feel like a grasshopper. But then he can become a giant.
In honor of Parshas Shlach I am presenting the complete Aliya story from my One Above and Seven Below autobiography. Some parts made it into the book but most of it did not. Some people will be able to relate to it, and others will say that their personal circumstances are not as favorable as ours were. Still, one thing I must tell everyone: if you have a serious opportunity to come here, it is a message to you. Do not ignore it. Don't get yourself wait-listed for the last flight out.
Still, at the end of the day, everybody winds up where HKBH wants him to. One thing I said over at my daughter's sheva brachos was:
40 days before the yetziras havlad, a bas kol goes out and says בת פלוני לפלוני . Taken at its word, this chazal is saying that sometime about 25 years ago, a bas kol went out and pronounced that the daughter of Yechezkel Hirshman is destined to be the wife of this young man. The interesting thing is that, 25 years ago, Yechezkel Hirshman didn't happen to be married! He was hanging around Lakewood, New Jersey and telling shadchanim that he needs a girl who is willing to follow him to Natwich (pseudonym for my home town) so he could go into the wholesale diamond business. Meanwhile, this fellow was a zygote by some family in Beit-El (not exactly the chareidi capitol of the world)! Yet, here we are 25 years later in Yerushalayim celebrating the sheva brachos of the new couple. How did we get here from there?
Well, here's how: