Want to advertise? Make a Kiddush!
So this past shabbos I co-sponsored a Kiddush in my shul in honor of my Aliyah (the type of "Aliyah" that you move to Israel that is. Of course they gave me Chameshei as well, but that's besides the point.)
Anyway if you want to get a message out make a Kiddush – then people notice! You can be telling people for years and they won't pay any attention – but throw in a little potato kugel and some chulent and bam! "Your making Aliyah? Really!?"
Well there was a mixed reaction – though largely positive. The gabbi announcing it said "When we said we needed another sponsor, we didn’t mean you had to go out and make Aliyah – but once you doing it already were certainly not going to stop you." A cute joke but based on the premise that Aliyah is the hardest thing in the world to do – and something unheard of among Western Jewry.
The most negative reaction I got was from one guy that actually came over and said –"Why would you want to make Aliyah? What's wrong with living here?" And other things that I won't reprint here. (Notably this guy is also a big talker during Kriyas HaTorah – fueling one of my theories. People that talk during layning don't understand they are listening to G-d's word and would never understand Aliyah either because they just are missing the point of Judaism!)
It's almost comical how people have started coming out of the woodworks to ret me a shidduch. Hello? Where have you been till now? (I tell them if she's not already living in Israel or making Aliyah this summer – it's not going to happen!)
Don't get me wrong. There was mostly positive feedback. "Excellent! That's the way to go!" "Wonderful! You’ll do great there!" "Very proud to hear it!" Many people actually said "Aliyah? Very Nice! We hope to also one day!" Just don't wait too long! In fact what I keep thinking of whenever I begin to second guess my decision and say why did I abruptly quit my job and jump on a plane... surely I could make Aliyah in my thirties...
I think of Aliyah Quote #25: Rav Zeira says: 'A land which Moshe and Aharon did not merit to enter - who knows if I wait any longer that I will have the privilege of entering it!' (Kesuvos 112a)
Rav Zeira couldn’t even wait a few short hours (certainly no longer than a day, or at worst what - a week?) for a ferry to return to the shore to take him over to the other side so he walked a tight rope instead because when it comes to getting home to the Holyland you just can’t wait.
“If not now? When?”