If you wake up one morning, and you are feeling less than chipper about living in this country of ours, after opening up your mail to discover that you are being screwed by Bituach Leumi, and owe them a million shekel, or go to the mechanic, and find out that they are charging you four times the amount they should be paying you for repairing your car, here’s a video I recommend watching for a pick-me-up. It gets me EVERY time.
When I think what Nefesh B’Nefesh has done for the Jewish people, I am rendered speechless. This year, in the summer of 2007, 3,500 people from North America are supposed to be making Aliyah through Nefesh B’Nefesh. These figures blow my mind. In past years, when faced with annoying bureaucratical procedures related to Aliyah, I would feel a twinge of jealousy. Where were NBN in 1998 when I needed them most? Making Aliyah from England was a somewhat lonely experience – I was the only one on my flight who was making Aliyah, and actually was one of 17 to make Aliyah that entire year from England. Thank G-d, things have changed, and this year is a record-breaking year for Nefesh B’Nefesh.
They are returning Jews to their homeland, but there is more to it than that. Due to the psychological trauma that we endure on a day-to-day basis, as a result of watching our country go from one crisis to another, we are, to put it mildly, low on morale. We don’t have Scharansky anymore in the forefront of politics to give us inspiration; we don’t have ANY leader or prime minister appearing on our TV screens giving us any hope or pride in our country. So what are we left with? What keeps us going from day to day? What is stopping us packing our bags and heading out on the next plane to.. wherever…?
For me, it is watching videos like the one above, where hundreds of Jews are crying their eyes out as they kiss Israeli ground, at the privilege of making Aliyah, returning to their homeland. That to me is a lifeline. It not only reminds me of why I am here, but it reinforces the essence of who we are as a people, and what we can achieve through shared goals and ideals. The fragmentation amongst our people that threatens to tear us into shreds is momentarily forgotten, and we remember what it is to smile at the sight of an Israeli flag, or the sight of an Israeli soldier in Ben Gurion welcoming new olim to their home; people who just moments before were strangers to each other, separated by continents and different existences, are united by the very fact that they are Jews and they are… family. For that feeling, I owe Nefesh B’Nefesh everything.