Tag Archives: Families

Ohel Avraham – The Heartbeat of Our Neighborhood

I debate in my mind if Ohel Avraham is a special place, or just one of the hundreds, if not thousands of community, or “corner”Beit Knessiot.

Let me tell you about Ohel Avraham and you can decide.

Ohel Avraham on Rechov HaIris - Ma'alot

Ohel Avraham on Rechov HaIris - Ma'alot

At Ohel Avraham you will find the staples found in a successful minyan – the baal tefilah, whose voice fills the room with ease, the timely one(s) who ensure that Hodu starts at 6:00 am – sharp, the gabbi who gives the warmest, heartfelt mishaberachs, the “candyman”, and a whole gang of others – business owners, employees, soldiers, students, and now – olim chadashim.

One works in real estate, another works in military defense, and yet another will come and fix your pluming problems.  I even got my arba minim (best ever) from a member of Ohel Avraham.  There is no rabbi, but the words of Torah are spoken by those called upon.

Hokafot during Chol HaMoed

Hoshanot during Chol HaMoed

Over the chag I have seen fathers and sons, grandparents and grandchildren, and in-laws.  I get the feeling the members have grown up together and are, is some way, a big family themselves.

There is camaraderie and synergy.

The View from my Seat Inside

The View from my Seat Inside

Ohel Avraham is on Iris street, or Rechov HaIris, the oldest free-standing-home residential street in Ma’alot, dating back nearly 40 years.  HaIris follows the curve of one of the many hillsides in Ma’alot, and services houses at street-level and those on the hillside – both above and below.   Beit Knesset Ohel Avraham is picturesquely, and conveniently positioned near the center of HaIris.

I have been in other “corner” Beit Knessiot and have found them to be delightfully energetic and sincere – so I know that Ohel Avraham is not unique.   But then I was told recently by another oleh that Ohel Avraham has a “bunch of great guys in it”.  I guess he has noticed it too – so maybe it is special.

These Beit Knessiot are the places where the people of Israel go to pray, where friends are made, where simchot are held, and the feeling of community is still alive and well.   These are the places that keep Torah alive.

These are the heartbeats of the land.

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…who will go and who will stay…

We know that everything that effects us is decreed on Rosh HaShannah – and making aliyah is no different.  Not only that, but for those who are going; the date, the flight, the seats, traveling partners, and destination residence, (yes, your shipping company too) have already been decreed.  Kind of comforting, huh?

Our Eagle

Our Eagle

When considering aliyah it is important to ramp up on your emunah. This quality/midda can smooth the rocky path of transition, and give you a feeling of comfort and security – like the “clouds of glory” in the midbar.   To gain these skills there is an excellent book – The Garden of Emuna by Rabbi Shalom Arush.  (If you haven’t read it yet – order it now.  If you haven’t read it lately, find it and read it again.)  It is essential for gaining a healthy perspective to life.

Different Perspectives on Aliyah. I was talking with a couple of my friends about making aliyah a week before our flight.  One told me that all his kids are doing real well in school and he doesn’t want to take them out and, essentially, ruin a good thing.

My other friend, however, told me that his son isn’t doing well in school and is learning more about life than he ought to at his tender young age, but yet he doesn’t want to make aliyah because of the horror stories of teenagers.

What’s the truth?  Who is right?

My perspective is that both can make aliyah – if they want to.  And it can be a positive experience.

Who can resist this view out their window?

Who can resist this view out their window?

Children (and parents)  in general do not want to move, whether from one city to another, or one country to another.  It is human nature.  We enjoy the comforts of  familiar soundings, job security, life-long friends, the list goes on.  Making aliyah is not the path of least resistance.  For a family to want to make aliyah, there has to be the knowledge and emphasis that life will be better in, as my wife calls it “God’s special land for Jews”.

In my conversations with friends, most often I find one spouse wants to make aliyah and the other definitely does not want to.  Most often it is the wife who wants to stay.  I am guessing it is because of the material comforts – and that’s passe.

There are a billion perspectives on making aliyah,  finding a community, and families with teens.  The factors involved are too numerous to make blanket statements – but it should be know that it can be done successfully.

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