Nobody Said That Living in Israel Would Be Easy!


Sponosred by Sharona Halickman Celebrating Seven Years of Aliya!


When we announced our plans to make aliya seven years ago, many people came over and congratulated us. As well, there were those who confronted us with the following responses:


1. It is so dangerous.

2. How are you going to make a living?

3. Everything there is so expensive.

4. Many of the products that you are used to aren’t available.

5. The salaries are much lower than in the US.


Unlike some immigrants who may move to Israel with rose colored glasses on, we knew full well that these were the realities that we would have to face yet we felt that it was worth the trade off in order to fulfill the mitzvah of “Yishuv Eretz Yisrael”, “Settling the Land of Israel”.


When the meraglim (spies) scouted out the Land of Israel, they said that there were good things such as: “a land flowing with milk and honey” and “a fruitful land” yet they also reported that there would be enemies and difficulties.


The difference between our attitude and the attitude of the meraglim was that we knew that we would try as hard as we could as well and we had faith that God would help us with the rest. Some immigrants come in hoping that God (as well as the Israelis) will take care of them without them doing their fair share. The attitude of the meraglim was that moving to the Land of Israel would be too difficult a task to handle on their own and they had little or no faith that God would help them during the difficult transition of conquering and settling the land.


Was everything that people told us to watch out for true?


  1. There are dangerous places (just as everywhere else in the world) yet there is a lot more security (guards, police and soldiers).
  2. The economy isn’t great anywhere right now and it is very difficult to break into the Israeli job market but if you come with a plan and you are willing to work hard there are opportunities.
  3. Some things are more expensive, some things are less expensive (cucumbers and tomatoes are much less expensive and taste much better!)
  4. The reason why people making aliya take a lift with them is so that they can take their beloved products from home and ease the transition until:

a. they find an equivalent product that they like

b. they have a family member who can bring it for them

c.  it finally becomes available in Israel

  1. The salaries may be lower- depending on who you are, what your job was before you made aliya and what your job is now. However, the healthcare plans are almost free (and no copayments), the rents are lower, the “public schools” here are Jewish- you can even select a “religious public school” and kindergarten is free!


The last few weeks in Israel there have been protests against the government since the prices of food, rent and gasoline keep going up. The protesters have discovered that many products are a lot more expensive in Israel compared to other countries. This is not news to us. We knew full well what the prices would be (for better or for worse).


The protestors have been successful in lowering some of the prices. If the prices do go down will more people make aliya? We will have to wait and see. In the mean time, since I arrived seven years ago you can now buy Swiffers and good quality paper towels in the supermarket, you can shop in the Gap and H&M in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, elderly residents of Jerusalem and those with special needs can study Torah at no charge with Torat Reva Yerushalayim and young women from abroad can spend a year in a Modern Orthodox environment at Midreshet Devora. All that I am waiting for now is powdered Ajax (we already have the liquid).