Dear Avichai David

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Dear Avichai David,

I made Aliyah a year ago after a lifetime of dreaming.

I did it for so many reasons, but the main one…was you. Before we ever met, I already had huge hopes for your future.

Somehow, I got lucky enough to be born in a generation in which it’s more possible than ever before to come back home. The Israel I experience, and the crazy privilege I have to be here now, is beyond the wildest fantasies of your great-great grandparents.

I made Aliyah so that Israel would always be your reality – so that you would never need to stand at a crossroads and choose between the house you’ve always known and a Homeland; between the familiar and the thrilling, yet vast unknown. While the choice for me to make Aliyah was crystal clear, the journey can be complex and difficult.

It’s my deepest hope that the life your Abba and I are setting up here,  the foundation we are establishing, continues to thrive. I pray that the overwhelming joys of Israeli living outshine the frustrations of gas bills in Hebrew and the endless line at Misrad Hapnim.

For me, it’s all worth it knowing that you get to wake up every day in the exact place that you’re meant to be. At your brit milah I gave you the bracha that you should always live with this knowledge; that you have constant appreciation for your world here. Baby, I hope that your life is colored in the best shades of blue and white.

You’re 3 months old now, just discovering everything around you. But you’re learning and growing not just anywhere, you’re in Jerusalem. This fact alone has the power to bring tears to my eyes. You’re babbling so much, I could already tell that you’ll be a big talker. I have a good feeling that your Hebrew skills will surpass mine by the time you’re in third grade. This is both my biggest fear (will I be able to help you with your homework!?) and biggest hope all at once.

Life in Israel is a harmony of tragedy and triumph, of simultaneous pain and persistence. I’m writing you this letter on Yom Hazikaron. At this moment in time, 26,891 men, women and children have given their lives for Medinat Yisrael, both on and off the battlefield. This week alone, we’ve added 4 names to this total. I sure as hell hope that by the time you’re 18, there is no army and there are no more wars. If it comes to be that in 2037 though, we’re still fighting to defend our Homeland, while it will scare your already anxious momma immensely, I hope I’ll be overwhelmed with pride at the sight of you in green.

Tomorrow, Israel turns 71 – already well over the hill. We’ve come so far, and we aren’t afraid of a derech arucha, a long journey. I hope you inherit that intense, in your kishkes, hope for peace that runs so deep here. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be reading this when Israel turns 100 years old, smiling at how far our family and our nation has come.

I can’t wait to watch and see who you become, my little sabra.

Michal (Kupchik) Sklar hails from West Hempstead, New York and made Aliyah in April 2018. She’s currently a Social Media Manager at Lightricks. She also happens to be able to speak backwards fluently (https://youtu.be/M8eqd5IPPvU).