- I have more than enough friends who I never see
- Most new families are too young and have young families
- They may not stay more than a year so why invest the energy
- I'm too tired
- I'm too busy
- I have to wash my hair
- They are (American, British, Australian, etc...) so let their own countrymen take care of them
And every year, I break that vow. Why?
I don't know. I think it's because I can't help myself. Don't bother suggesting that I am just a nice person at heart because I don't think that is the case. But after much thought I have broken it down into a few reasons:
- No matter how hard I try I cannot shake the memories of my early days here and the people who helped me through them -- most of them virtual strangers at the time. For all those ignorant Jews outside of Israel who insist that moving to Ra'anana is no big deal because it is just like any other big western city .... WRONG... It is very difficult. And everything you thought you knew about functioning day-to-day is out the window. Between language, culture, and local idiosyncrasies, you might has well have moved to Mars. Then add the fact that it is September and still hot, really hot, in fact, and you have yourself the makings of a total emotional stew.
- I can't help but admire these people -- particularly those who made Aliyah during the war. If there is one thing this summer's war taught me it is that the colour of your political stripe is not so important (I never thought I would see myself type those words.) What is important is that you are here. That is now the dividing line between Jews, for me. I am not talking about every individual case -- some people have good reasons not to be here. However, most do not. Most of the them are full of baloney.
- Some of these new people are people I would have wanted to be friends with no matter where or when I met them. Oui, some of them have added a beautiful dimension to my life. The fact that I had to move here to meet them was just a nice touch.
So, on that note, to all the new people who have just arrived, I would like to say thank you for packing up your lives and coming to join us here in Israel. I hope it will be all you thought it would be and I am willing to be bet it will be even better than you ever expected.
I cannot promise that I will meet you all, speak to you all, feed you all, or help you all, but I am thinking about you.