Debbie finally arrived in Israel last month, after ten years of longing. She has been corresponding with me for a little over a year, and the first thing she did was to show up at my Wednesday evening weekly Emuna talk and broadcast in English from the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva in Jerusalem. G-d willing, she'll be working in the mornings as an English teacher and spending her afternoons at a women's seminar for Baalot Teshuva.
Debbie wrote a message that we wants me to convey to all of you; it's really profound:
Rabbi Lazer, please tell your readers how I wanted to make Aliya ten years ago when I was 21. I also wanted to learn more about Judaism. I let my mother talk me out of both. During the last ten years, I wish I could say I've been treading water, but it's worse. I floated from job to job, had a miserable relationship with a person outside of our religion who I lived with for four years, and have sacrificed my own aspirations to keep mom happy. I was miserable and lost my self-esteem. You gave me the courage to pack up and do what I really want. Pass the message on to others - don't waste a decade of your own lives to keep others happy. Come to Israel today, and claim your Jewish birthright. Live your own lives. 31 is better late than never...
No, Debbie, don't cry over spilt milk. With Hashem's help, your Emuna will strengthen and you'll meet a good guy very soon. Your message is an important one.
The ingathering of the exiles is just one more sign of the wonderful times that await us in the rebuilt Jerusalem of Eretz Yisroel, amen.