And you will say it to them: Hashem said: I will take Bene Yisrael from among the nations where they have gone, and gather them from every corner and bring them to their own land. Ezekiel 37:21 (The Israel Bible ™)
Thirty-three-year-old Russian refusenik Boris Kochubievsky wrote in a letter from 1969: "I am a Jew, I want to live in the Jewish state – I want to live in Israel, this is my dream."
Suppressed in Soviet Russia, many wanted to emigrate to Israel to escape persecution. Kochubievsky explained: "This is not only the purpose of my life, but also of the lives of hundreds of generations that preceded me and that were expelled from the land of their ancestors."
Doctor Kochubievsky clarified his desire to emigrate to Israel and resulted in his three-year imprisonment in Siberia: "As long as I am alive and for as long as I am able to heal, I will make every effort to leave for Israel and if you it is possible to condemn me for this, anyway, if I live to my release, I will prepare to go to my homeland of my ancestors, even if it means walking on foot. & # 39;
For standing 239 North American upcoming Israeli immigrants on August 15 Rabbi Yehoshua Fass, co-founder of Nefesh & # 39; B Nefesh – the organization that facilitates the group aliyah (immigration to Israel), read this letter aloud.
As the olim (immigrants to Israel) embraced and kissed their loved ones at their JFK airport control ceremony, Fass told the immigrants: "We were born in a generation in which the state of Israel is a given and sometimes we are numb the wonderful times in which we live."
But he claimed, "We share the same drive, share the same inspiration, share the same courage and share the same miracle."
Much like refuseniks of the past, modern Israeli immigrants are motivated by the biblical, political and historical desire to return to the Jewish land after years of exile.
Indeed, the uniqueness of this immigration trend lies in the fact that the land of Israel housed the Jewish people, wanted for thousands of years – a return prophesied in the Jewish Bible.
Banned from the country in various diasporas as predicted in the Jewish Bible since 19th century and even more since the establishment of the modern state of Israel, Jews from the four corners of the earth are back home. Every Nefesh B & # 39; Nefesh flight that brings new immigrants to Israel is embodied kibbutz galuyot, the prophesied collection of exiles back to the Jewish country:
"and you will say it to them: Thus HaShem, I will take B & # 39; nei Yisrael from among the nations they went to, and collect them from each district and bring them to their own country. "(Ezekiel 37:21)
New immigrant Chasya-Uriel Steinbauer, 44, told Breaking Israel news as she sat with her two young children on the floor of the terminal: "It is the Jewish dream to return to the homeland of the Jewish people and to make a living there, to contribute to the state of Israel and to consider this as a miracle – the gathering of the exiles from the exile that took place 2,000 years ago – and we are blessed to return. "
Steinbauer grew up in the Midwest and experienced anti-Semitism and always felt like an outsider. Even after she had founded a family, she still had the painful feeling she was not at home. "In Israel I felt at home for the first time, in my skin."
Many other Jews feel that Israel feels immediately at home, which has led to more than 57,000 Western olives seeking help from Nefesh B & # 39; Nefesh – the only private foundation in the world outsourced by a government to promote immigration. – in the past 16 years.
After immigrants have returned to the country, the aliyah organization supports olim post-aliyah, making life in Israel viable for all ages. Since the existence of the organization the & # 39; failure rate & # 39; aliyah decreased from 60 percent to 10 percent, told Doreet Freedman, Vice President Partnerships at Nefesh B & # 39; Nefesh. Breaking Israel news.
Nefesh B & # 39; Nefesh 59th charter flight was sponsored by Denver, Colorado local, Heidi Rothberg in collaboration with Jewish National Fund USA and was facilitated in collaboration with Israel's Ministry of Aliyah & Integration, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth Le & # 39; Israel (KKL ), JNF-USA and Tzofim-Garin Tzabar.
Similarly to Kochubievsky and many refuseniks, the average age of the new immigrants on the run was only 30 years old.
But unlike Western Jewish immigrants now, traditionally and historically, aliyah was a movement of refugees to Israel – from Jews persecuted or kicked out of their homeland.
The young immigrants and the single soldiers on the run spoke about the decision to fall out of the choice instead of prosecuting. For them aliyah is not a matter of survival, but of finding meaning in the Jewish story.
Fay Goldstein, 27, told Breaking Israel news"My life in the US was fantastic, I had friends that I loved and an apartment where I was sad to leave, but I felt too comfortable and needed more to grow and expand." She had shared her intimate moment with her mother when she said goodbye, she called her surroundings, in the packed terminal of new immigrants, "an exhibition of beautiful, raw love for the sake of Israel" that also inspires growth within each individual.
Jessica Goldman (19) said: "I have been to the Jewish school all my life in New York, learned what it means to be Jewish early and to love Israel from afar." She told her with her largely unqualified father who was sitting on a couch in the neighborhood Breaking Israel news"Now I want a different experience, I want to take a dip in Israeli culture and be with the Israelis – I saw this for myself and knew it was good for me."
Shira Weisman, 18, admitted: "I was not ready to go back to school yet." Her father, an indigenous Israeli who brought his family to the US 15 years ago, claimed, "I truly believe what Israel is all about." It is a land for Jewish people to live and be free, which is not always easy, so I want to support this ideal in every possible way. "
Gavi Benchabbat, 19, who goes into the army with his twin brother, said: "I went to Hevron for Sukkot and felt that this was our country and we have to protect it from all threats." It's fun to do an Israeli period but the only way the system works is when people defend the country. "
During the ceremony, the consul general of Israel in New York, Dani Dayan, thought about his own aliyah from Argentina when he was 15 years old. He said: "The moment I got on the plane, I never looked back, not because I could not look back, but because there was no reason to look back." Aliyah is the most amazing adventure of the Jewish people. # 39;
Signs decorated the departure hall with the text & # 39; Living the Dream & # 39 ;.
Ron Werner, a senior lay leader of JNF USA, a partner in bringing immigrants home, explained to Breaking Israel news"In our comfortable world of America, when we say" the dream life ", it usually refers to a car, a second home, or a holiday. & # 39;
But this dream, he said – the dream that Olim lives – is a dream of thousands of years for the Jewish people. "This is a dream that goes back to our liturgy when we talk about & # 39; on the waters of Babylon we have settled down and wept & # 39 ;, & # 39; if I forget you & # 39; oh Jerusalem & # 39; and "next year in Jerusalem" every year at the end of our Passover Seder, "Werner said.
"Now, it does not have to be next year," he continued. "We live in a time when every Jew around the world can freely travel to or emigrate to the land of Israel – where we can build a strong and safe country of Israel."
He said to the oil: "We are here – hinenu. Keep the dream alive. "
On arrival in Israel the group got out of the plane, greeted by dignitaries, soldiers, family and friends. Several speakers spoke with the immigrants during the arrival ceremony at Ben Gurion Airport, including: Yehuda Scharf, director of the Aliyah, Absorption and Special Operations Department of the Jewish Agency; Yoram Elgrabli, Managing Director of El Al North America; MK Dr. Michael Oren, deputy minister in the prime minister's office; MIN. Sofa Landver, Minister of Aliyah and integration; and Nefesh B & # 39; Nefesh Executives.
"What other country does immigrants welcome in this way?" Fass suggested. At the arrival ceremony he explained that in Hebrew the word for citizenship (ezrachut) shares an etymological root with words that describe light, such as brightness and luminescence. "When a person announces and declares their citizenship, they announce their principles to the world of which they strongly believe," he said.
"Today you send your faith, you communicate your conviction and explain your dedication and hopefully share your inspiration."
After the speeches, the 239 olom came together with their friends, family and Israel's leaders and sang Israel's anthem, HaTikvah"The Hope:" As long as in the heart of a Jewish soul still longs, and further, towards the ends of the east, an eye still looks at Zion, our hope is not lost – the hope two thousand years – for a Free nation in our country – the land of Zion and Jerusalem. "
And with 2000 years of hope in their eyes the olim left by taxi's, filled to the brim with their possessions, to start their lives as Jews in the Land of Israel.