When we conjure up images of bravery, we think of valiantly strong, often armor-clad individuals. I've been thinking about bravery a lot today, and I'm pretty convinced I've discovered one of the bravest people out there.
Tonight, Nefesh B'Nefesh's first charter flight leaves the US carrying a plane full of new immigrants that will please G-d land tomorrow morning bright and early. The trip ends with a huge ceremony welcoming these new Israelis home. It's a very large to-do, and you can watch it live (or later) on the NBN website. Tomorrow my good friend from high school arrives on the flight and I can't wait. I've been signed up (together with 2 of my kids) for a month, and I have been thinking about it all day. We ourselves didn't get the opportunity to come with NBN (either time!) and I'm very much looking forward.
So back to the bravery part: this friend of mine is one of the sweetest, most wonderful people you'll ever meet. She's the girl who decorated every classmate's locker for their birthday, and is still the first one to remember my birthday to this day (without the help of FB, thank you vedy much). She is a tremendous baalat chesed and is a very integral part of her NY community. It's a wonder to many of us that she is still single.
So, when she told me last year that she is making Aliyah, I was beyond words. Make aliyah by herself, was she crazy? Did she not know how hard it is and what it entails? I came with an Israeli husband, a pre-fab family and in-laws built in, and still I struggle.
And then she said something to me that I'll never forget, and that made everything suddenly crystal clear. She said, "Listen, I always wanted to make Aliyah. I just figured I would get married, and then make Aliyah in that order, but obviously Hashem has it worked out differently, so why should I wait any longer to follow my dream? And yeah, if I move there and find my bashert, it's an added plus. But it's not the reason I'm going. I'm going because I love Israel and I've always wanted to live there."
There you have it; tremendous bravery. She's doing what she wants to do even though she knows there may be struggles ahead. She's far from naive; she's actually one of the most organized, calculated people I know. She isn't jumping blindly into this, far from it. She's smart, she's courageous and she is tremendously brave, and I'm very proud to call her my friend.
You know who you are, have a safe flight and we'll see you on the ONLY side!