The July 19th flight: Aliyah in Times of Unrest

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24 Aug 2006

Every chartered Aliyah flight is significant and has it’s own special signature. July 19 was certainly no exception. With a little over a week into the war against Hizbullah, hundreds of Olim were relieved to learn that the July 19th NBN Aliyah flight would depart as scheduled, unaffected.

As Olim crowded into JFK airport, the common question asked by the national media was “How can you move to Israel with your family at a time like this?” The common given answer- “How can I not?”.

The Olim displayed a collective mind that sent out the message, “We commit ourselves to Israel with the understanding that there will always be good times and challenging times. This happens to be a challenging time. But despite the difficulties up North, we stand with the Jewish nation in a display of the ultimate “solidarity mission”… Our dream of Aliyah.

Even more extraordinary was the fact that some Olim chose to postpone their Aliyah for a week or two, but not one Oleh cancelled their plans to make Aliyah! In fact, the Aug 9th flight that followed, saw every seat filled with the overflow of those that didn’t make the previous flight.

Emotions ran high as friends and family welcomed the new Olim at Ben Gurion airport with open arms, tears and words of bracha from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin and Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Next installment: The Nefesh B’Nefesh Triple Play

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.