Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lessons Learned, part I

This week-- no, these past few weeks, almost month, have been very, very hard for me.

Between difficulties with paperwork at my schools (literally making me sick from the stress-- keeping me up at night/waking me up in the middle of the night; nauseous; feeling sick), people I care about very much being sick and/or in the hospital, questions about how I want my life and envision it coming up and people I love(d)'s been tough lately.

I called one of my friends tonight to find out how her husband's tekes went (her husband just finished about finished basic training in the army and had a tekes this past week). We talked about how Shabbat was, and I said that I was having a kind of difficult time with the reports I had to write and how I have a whole life waiting for me in America-- including no chumus at all-- and's really hard, I have a container half-full (half-empty) of chumus (for those of you who are coming in now, chumus = no job and no relationship; the goal is to empty the chumus container-- aka, have a job and a relationship) and she said that maybe I have a 2/3 empty container; I asked her how, because I have a job but not relationship. She said that I'm in Israel.

It kind of make sense-- definitely makes sense-- if Israel is such a big thing that I was willing to leave my family, my job, and a lot of important and easier things in America, maybe it does deserve a place in the chumus container. Granted, chumus as a metaphor came about because one roommate said that she didn't have a job and didn't have a relationship, but had a chumus...Israel was no where in that. So it can either be that Israel is a given, it's granted, and therefore does not need to be in the chumus container, or that it's something that should be in the container because it's important enough to give up other things for. I'm not sure...thoughts anyone?

I've brought this up before and it gets me every time but it still...doesn't make it any easier. In the Gemara there is a part about one spouse wanting to make aliyah [move to Israel] and the other not. And it's valid grounds for divorce (not poskining anything here, but just making a statement). Which to me means that Israel is pretty damn important. Important enough to give up a marriage, the other half of your soul.
It also confuses me, which is something I haven't brought up but have been thinking about for the past year and a half (wow, has it only been a year and a half...? Feels like so much longer and shorter at the same time). How can two parts of one soul be so conflicted about such a major issue? It seems like that's saying, "Something isn't right." Maybe it means that it's not right, because how can one whole have such a conflict? It's not possible, or at least from my limited perspective as a human and seeing things from that perspective, that something so in conflict can be unified and right. It can't.

I said it then and I'm saying it again, maybe to try to convince myself. It's not fair to start a marriage like that and it's not fair to have a marriage like that.

Two stories about two women who are close to me:
I: One wanted to make aliyah a number of years ago, but wanted to make aliyah already married. She got married when she was in her mid-30's to someone who was not planning on making aliyah the same way she was-- then. She got married, had a child, and made her life with her family in her home country. Her child graduated high school and went to learn in Israel for a year; the child did and also made aliyah. She is planning on making aliyah with her husband, joining their child here, within 7-10 years.
II: The other woman was seriously dating someone, and she, too, wanted to make aliyah. The person she was dating wanted to finish his degree and then maybe or when he retired or something make aliyah. Something happened in Israel (for a shock...things never happen here...) and she decided that she wanted to be here. And so she moved here, alone, and met her husband, and raised a family here.

Both woman are successful. Both women are happy. Both have at least one child in another country. But how to reconcile the need to live in Israel with the feeling that someone is right for you, even though they're not going to live where you want...I haven't worked that out yet.

More on this another time; I have to get to sleep for my half-empty chumus container (aka, work) tomorrow.

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