Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Place for Sentiment

It is just over 18 months since we made aliyah. I have been thinking about things I may have done differently with the benefit of hindsight. I have decided that it might be nice to introduce some of the ‘lessons learned’ in some of my blogs. My reflections may help others who are in the planning stages of their own aliyah.

So, what could we have done better? Let’s start with shipping this week.

When we made aliyah we sold most of our worldly goods, deciding to start again. We sold toys, furniture, kitchenware. We gave away clothes, bedding, pictures etc. Not only did we want to start afresh but we felt that the value of our items was likely to be less than the cost of shipping them to Israel. We needed to watch every penny and in my blinkered haste to organize a minimum shipment I sold two very special items of furniture with great sentimental value; an antique bookshelf which my grandfather had given to me, remembering how I had admired it as a child in his office and a rocking chair that he had hand upholstered. I regret now that I had not held on to these two items, which were after all priceless.

One of our great finds during the unpacking of our shipment (when we finally organised its arrival over a year after our departure) were the two tiny pairs of ‘first shoes’ I had carefully kept for my kids. Packed away in an old shoe box, the lid was removed to gasps of excitement. Likewise there were thrills when we hung a chiming clock on the wall – finally our home rang out hourly with that old, familiar soundtrack to our lives. The lesson therefore, don’t get too ruthless, there is a place for sentiment within us all.

Sharona B