Blogger of the Month
Batya Miriam Perlman/The Aliyah Blog
It’s bizarre what 8 months can do. Last week, as I was unpacking my suitcases for the ninth time, I found some pajamas I hadn’t seen in a while. A foreign feeling surrounded them, as if they were from my previous life. Baltimore feels like a world away.
I have discovered more about myself in these 8 months than in all my 20 years. Before this, I don’t think I really believed that some wisdom only comes with age…but I do now. Not that I’m wise yet. Yet.
I’ve seen a scarier side of myself, the side that is sad and feels vulnerable and anxious, spurred on by not being settled for so long.
I’ve seen the fighter in me, consistently declaring, “This is where I’m meant to be. This is where my soul is home.”
After feeling like a wandering body for so long, I’ve met a compassionate woman, the one who now understands what it’s like to feel lost, and how fortunate I am to have always had a safe and warm place to come home to.
I’ve met the side of me that can express my needs and meet them, despite the chaos around and inside me.
My heart is so much more open to giving now.
After 8 months, I can finally say that I have a home! It’s not what I expected; it’s better. I moved into an apartment in Jerusalem with 5 other girls who each moved to Israel on their own over the past few years. I’m sharing a room with two of them, which I thought would be an unpleasant lack of personal space, but it’s actually wonderful to come home to.
I feel normal again. I can cry and breathe and put my thoughts into words, which felt nearly impossible before.
Yesterday, I sang to myself as I was working, a short original that I had written a while ago for a close friend going through a rough time. The house was empty. Unexpectedly, a gush of tears sprung to my eyes, and I knelt on the floor and cried. 10 minutes later, I was still there.
I didn’t know why I cried, and tried not to think into it too much. Something just had to be released. I let go of the sorrow and stress the last few months brought up inside me.
It was a transition moment. All the moving and unpredictability of the last months was over. I could start building foundations. I felt strong.
It makes me think of my people in Egypt, when we were slaves. The Egyptians understood that the worst form of torture was for us not to see the fruit of our work, so they had us build on quicksand. Each day, we began again. Again and again.
Maybe there was something we learned from starting over again and again. Maybe G-d was letting us tap into a reality where we saw that, in the physical world, things wouldn’t last, but in the spiritual realms, we could build eternal skyscrapers.
So that’s why I want to be in Israel. Because even when things don’t work out how I want them too, and I’m feeling scattered, I’m here to build my life—my true eternal life—and that’s what counts.
P.S. Cheap DIY for decorating bedroom walls without painting them: buy patterned tablecloths and tack them up with pushpins. It actually looks decent!
Batya Miriam Perlman
is an ambitious 23 year old who made aliyah from Baltimore, MD in 2016. She hit the road running by enrolling in an Israeli college for Traditional Chinese Medicine, where she has been studying for the past year and a half. She works as a madricha and has recently opened a private massage practice. Writing and playing music is Batya Miriam's favorite pastime, and she enjoys sharing her originals with female audiences.