Aliyah (pronounced ‘ah-lee-ahh’) …this one word stands between those of us living in Israel who are Jewish and those who are Gentile. Aliyah is the ‘calling back’ of Jewish descendants to Israel. Making Aliyah gives you the legal right to be living in Israel and immediate citizenship. Being a ‘Gentile’ I am not able to make Aliyah, which therein lies my difficulty to stay long-term.
The first question everyone asks me here is, “Did you make Aliyah?” Which leads to a “No, I’m not Jewish.” This in turn is followed by, “Then what are you doing here?” (and the saga then continues on to a delicate conversation) It would be soooo much easier if I were able to make Aliyah, but that’s another entry.
What’s interesting is that in the past, most immigrants making Aliyah have been mostly of Russian descent, hoping for a better life here. Recently though, there has been an influx of immigrants from all over, including France, India, and yes….even the United States. The Jerusalem Post had an article about Americans now looking at making Aliyah, due to the economic situation in the states. (Amid Recession, Americans eye aliyah)
Whether you are Jewish or not, Aliyah is something we should all be aware of and following in the news, especially being an important foreshadow of things yet to come.