Many many years ago my family attended a cousin's wedding. A rabbi spoke under the chupah, explaining the importance of marriage, wishing the couple success and concluding with the words, "May you build a bayit neeman beyisrael." My young brother turned to my my mother and told her, "I didn't know they were planning to live in Israel."
They weren't but Arsen Ostrovsky details the reasons that he is leaving a comfortable life in the diaspora to make aliya this coming Thursday. I wish him much mazal and hatzlocha.
Having been involved in a multitude of Jewish and pro-Israel organizations in Sydney and New York, both on a voluntary basis and, in the past few years, professionally, it also occurred to me that I could continue trying to do my bit for Israel from “the outside,” or I could do it from here; that I could either watch history unfold, or be a part of it; that I could either sit on the sidelines, or help effect change from within.
Yes, I feel like I have something to contribute here; but honestly, I feel that Israel has so much more to offer me than I could ever hope to repay: a sense of belonging, of home, of pride, that I cannot find in any other place on earth.
Continue reading: http://www.algemeiner.com/2012/07/30/why-im-making-aliya/
Last night I spoke to a friend of mine who made aliya a number of years ago. "Are you happy with your decision to make aliya?" I asked her. She replied in the affirmative. There was a quality of life that she had gained when she chose to live in Israel.
"In the neighborhood where I used to live," she told me, "we were judged by our material possessions. In Israel it is different."