Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.) Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching. She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:
We had a wonderful Israeli Indpendence Day with family and friends who are as close or closer than family, just the way it should be. You can read more about my life and thoughts on Shiloh Musings and me-ander.
We made aliyah as a young couple, very idealistic and probably stupid to boot. Not stupid because we made aliyah, but stupid because we never learned the system so that we'd have a financially comfortable retirement. Many "anglos," English speaking immigrants to Israel have the problem. Other "lantzmen" groups don't.
I don't think we'd be as comfortable financially if we had stayed in the states. We probably wouldn't have had five kids either. We'd never have had been able to afford the tuition in the Jewish schools, nor health care. I don't know if we would have had been home owners either. Here in Israel we've always owned our own home. We never paid rent.
Israel is the only place we've been as adults, not counting two years on shlichut in London 35 years ago. I developed all of my cooking and baking skills in Israel.
I'm always fascinated by all the programs to attract "western immigrants" to Israel, like Nefesh b'Nefesh. It all sounds so cold and rational, so businesslike.
There's a magic about living in Israel, things that can't be computed.
I've never regretted a day that we made our home in Israel just weeks after our wedding. We came by boat, not by plane. No matter how you come, there are things you get by living in Israel that aren't in "this world."