Yesterday I was thinking about how I moved to Israel.
Or rather, I was thinking about how, when I visited my family one summer, I met one of my eighth-grade teachers. She asked what I was doing, how I was doing, where I was. I told her that I was studying for a B.Ed. and had moved to Israel.
But I felt funny saying that. Really, I didn’t live in Israel. I mean, technically, I had. But I kept coming back for the summers, because my “home” was a student dorm, that was closed in the summer, and where I switched apartments every school year.
I didn’t feel like I lived here.
Now, I live here.
When I think back to when I made aliya, I think it was a smart move. The government gave me a huge subsidy for my degree. They gave me a small, but helpful, rent subsidy (which disappeared, for reasons of bureaucracy, when I married Yitzchak). I had a place to live, and during vacations, had people to stay with.
I paid a dorm fee and food. I didn’t pay electricity, water, gas, property tax. I paid for my schoolbooks and transportation, laundry and food. I didn’t pay most of my tuition fees, or for rent during vacation.
It was a smart move. It was a good thing to do.
And if you’re a single student, it’s probably a really good option.
Now, if – when? – I go to visit Canada, I can honestly say that we live in Israel. We do.
And I don’t like to fly, so I am happy that we have our own little apartment here in Israel.
Once, I used to like flying. That was when I was single.
Somehow, after we got married, I stopped liking flights. Maybe it’s because of all the flying I did while we were engaged. Maybe it’s because now, I fly with Yitzchak, and he packs differently and plans for flights differently.
Maybe it’s because we have Shlomo.
Maybe I’m just more tired and like to stay home more.
I don’t know. Truthfully, I don’t care, either.
As long as we can stay happily at home.
But if my sister or brother asks whether they should make aliya and get a degree here – my answer will undoubtedly be yes.
It was a good choice.