One of the highlights of my aliyah, my moving from America to Israel, the Jewish homeland, was giving birth to my son in Jerusalem. Thousands of years ago, the last baby in my family line was born in Israel; to think that my son and I reestablished that bond to our land is awe-inspiring.
My son was named for my late grandfather, who was a Holocaust survivor, and while I hope that he embodies many of the extraordinary qualities of his namesake, I can’t help but notice the astounding differences in their lives.
The contrast is stark. My grandfather was born on foreign soil, in Poland, where millions of Jews ultimately fled after being exiled from Israel. My son was born in Jerusalem, in Israel, where millions of Jews from all four corners of the earth have returned home. My grandfather lived through a horrific time when most of his family was taken away and murdered with no one to protect them, while he barely managed to survive. My son lives in the first sovereign Jewish state in 2,000 years, is protected by Jewish soldiers, and if peace doesn’t come first, will become one himself. My grandfather lived the biblical prophecies of exile; we are living the biblical prophecies of restoration.
I am so very grateful.
My grandfather lived in the shadow of anti-Semitism; my son lives in the light of Israeli development, contribution, and pride.