It’s not surprising that I find myself sentimental the week of Amichai’s bar mitzvah. Each milestone in our lives is, of course, significant and becomes a time for reflection. I find that Amichai’s life, in particular, creates more reflection for me as it signifies our Aliyah and the ways that we have changed and grown since moving to Israel.
I was 5 months pregnant when we boarded the plane in July of 2004 and brought our lives across the world. I can’t even imagine the types of emotions that I must have been experiencing at the time, packing up our lives, leaving our jobs, spending time in the summer with our families, saying goodbye to our friends and our home in Potomac….all while dealing with morning sickness (and two small children).
Since our arrival in Israel and the arrival of our Aliyah baby, I’ve been able to mark just about every Aliyah milestone based on Amichai’s milestones. When he first walked, we knew we had been here for a year; his entry into three year old nursery marked our baby steps, and when he attained double digits, we did as well.
Today, while Amichai started his last week of bar mitzvah preparations, his teacher, Eldad, sent me this picture.
I knew the bar mitzvah was coming, and this picture shouldn’t have surprised me; but I was choked up when I saw it. Look how far we’ve come.
Amichai Oz translates as “Our Nation Lives in Strength.” We knew that it was quite a name to give to a little guy; an awful lot of hopes to pin to a baby. But it truly represents the embodiment of everything that we hoped for our Aliyah, of everything that we hope for our little country, and of the future that we envision for that little boy born on the back of our Aliyah.
The little boy who is becoming a bar mitzvah this week.