Overwhelmed. Today was another ‘this is why I made aliyah’ day.
I sat in the hall and looked around. Parents were seated from all over Israel – not at all a homogenous crowd. Some were eclectic, some ultra orthodox and some tzioni. But all of them religious. After the principal gave a very emotional address, the men were dismissed and a few girls gave a beautiful performance.
I choked back the tears.
After 3 months of convincing my daughter to come to this school – she finally succumbed 2 days before the first day of pnimiya- boarding school.
Most North Americans would balk at the thought of sending a 14 yr old girl away. But as I found out last year – here it is the norm. Many kids start high school many miles away from their parents.
But it’s not the Enid Blyton type boarding schools that I have seared into my mind. I used to love reading Malory Towers – and always wished I could go to boarding school. But then the bare, austere atmosphere always scared me.
In stark contrast – this school is overflowing with warmth. The way the teachers and students interact is in a very amicable way. Western formalities do not exist here. And there is order – but through love. It seems everyone is on the same page. It’s a new school. An art school. Offering art, dance, music and film making.
It’s a place of learning, creativity and its seems that the main goal is to foster a spiritual connection in the girls to recognize that everything is from Hashem and that each one of them is special. As one teacher told me. “This place is like a big hug. ”
So I came away feeling content that Micaeli is in a good place. A safe environment on all levels. High school is not an easy place to be. Especially today. I am hoping theses girls will be imbued with solid Torah values and strength of character to do the right thing.
I know she’s going to learn responsibility quickly and grow up. It’s not a bad thing at all. I think the life skills gained will be immeasurable. But it’s not easy. And it’s certainly not for every child.
My family dynamic is in constant change here. Belonging to the sisterhood of the travelling husbands is not always the easiest choice. And now with Micaeli away — responsibility lies now on Sara.
So life here is an intense microcosm. It is constantly evolving and changing. It’s sending very strong currents – leaving no option but to change directions. Challenge yourself. Your emotional well being and your spiritual standing. The belief of doing everything for a higher purpose becomes the mantra. Because that is the only way to get through everyday.
What I’ve realized is that there is nothing under my control. I have to put in all the effort I can. But at the same time, relinquish everything to Hashem. And beg and pray that He carries me and my family to where we need to be. And I know that Hashem gets me through every test, no matter how minute or big. I don’t know what is in the next moment. I just know that whatever’s it is – I can get through it. Or else it would not be happening to me.
So I pray that whatever challenges and tests are before all of us – that we may see the good in them. And rise to the occasion. And we should not be tested through suffering and pain – but to realize the greatness of Hashem through joy and contentment.
It is through all the challenges that we are able to see greatness.
School here is so different. My daughter starting כיתה א was greeted with such excitement. A band was hired to welcome the kids music blared ballots were everywhere In fact all my elementary kids were. They are all at the same school. The principal was outside greeting all the kids. When she saw me she gave me the biggest kiss and hug. And we both looked at each other tears of pride appearing faintly in each other’s eyes. Proud that she has a wonderful school to offer to all children – but how special to see the fulfillment of the return of Jews from the four corners of the world to attend her school. It was an intense ahavat Yisrael (love of Jews for each other – like one family)moment that we shared, in a nanosecond.
And then today, as I packed groceries into my car a man from Ethiopa waited patiently to use my trolley. As I finished he apologized for bothering me and wished me Shabbat shalom. Of course I got into my car and cried. We are all here from the four corners of the globe. We share a single language and an eternal ideology. We are truly one family
How blessed I am to be here. To feel.
How blessed my kids are to be going to school in a place that teaches love.
Shabbat shalom everyone