Anyone who has made aliyah has been asked this question at one time or another: Why did you come now?
Usually the oleh or olim involved answer the question by saying that it’s the right time for them or for their children. Or they give another personal response.
But what Israelis are really asking is, Why did you come now when things are so bad?
One of the paradoxes of aliyah is that both questions are relevant.
This is certainly the case for those who arrived on the Nefesh b’Nefesh flights on July 1 or July 7. It will probably also be true for the flight that arrives on July 21.
The first flight left New York on Monday evening June 30. A date that will be difficult to forget.
“We were checking our bags in when we heard that the bodies of the three boys had been found,” says Yehuda Miller, 26, from Pittsburgh, PA. He is referring to Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sha’er and Naftali Fraenkel. “I dedicated our aliyah to their memories,” he says. “We were on our way and the circumstances of their deaths made me feel more passionate about coming. Terror wins when they make us feel afraid,” Miller continues, “and I don’t want them to win.”