It took me until this minute and writing the title for this post to realize that what I’m experiencing is actually numbness… the question is why?
We have a big decision in front of us right now, and it’s weighing so heavily in me that I can’t even feel it. The number of factors and variables seem endless and the consequences of a wrong decision would add significant difficulty to our lives. I guess my heart knows that if it would also contribute to the situation by adding the emotional aspect of the choices, I’d just collapse, so I think that’s why I’ve gone numb… and yet, the drum is still beating and a decision must be reached.
I’m hoping that writing will help, so you’re along for the ride – and comments are sooo very welcome!
We came to the Golan w/ a dream of living on a moshav (small settlement) and having some land to have a homestead. We came to Katzerin b/c there was no place to rent on any of the religious moshavs, and we weren’t (are still not) in a position to buy anything.
We’ve been in Katzerin for a year and a half now. We have friends, we love our neighbors, we’ve become the unofficial “absorption center” and “guest house” of Katzerin and we love it! But we don’t have room for even a garden. (Although we do have a lemon tree!) Anyway, just when we thought we’d push off our decision of where in the Golan to settle down for another year, our landlord called to tell us that they want to sell the house. So we won’t be renewing this lease… and now we have to make a decision…
Now I need to backtrack… A few months ago I visited Avnei Eitan to pick something up. It is a beautiful settlement where lots of people have animals, and most are farmers. The yishuv had recently closed their absorption process because they were over capacity and had no new lots available. When I left, I told my husband that I think I’d like to live there if they were still accepting new families. It just resonated with me. But no klita meant I didn’t have to think about it anymore b/c it’s not an option…
… 2 weeks ago I started a new job as client manager for a tourism company in Avnei Eitan. Since we don’t have a car at the moment, I have been working mainly from home with the idea of going in once a week via hitchhiking… I don’t mind being in the office, but I find that I waste a lot of time getting back and forth and I’m more productive at home…
… the local weekly magazine has a real estate section in which there is a separate column for rentals in the settlements. Every week I look there and say – “some day a rental is going to be posted here in one of the religious places, and we’re just going to go!” Last Friday a listing appeared for a rental in… Avnei Eitan.
I saw the house today. It is small. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath in 72 meters. But this little house is situated on 3000 sq. meters, and the view from the back yard is to die for. It is also being completely gutted and redone (although not expanded) so it will be brand new. My new boss is also on the yishuv board. He let me in on the scoop that there will be land available to build on within the next 2 years (the term of the lease on this house) it will not include farm land though.
What would this all mean? It would mean we have the opportunity to give our dream a try. We’d have two years to live on the yishuv, and have our homestead, we’d have the opportunity to get information on possibly renting farmland once we would decide to build, and we would know the truth about our ability to live our dream.
So what is the catch? Here’s the downside of all this:
1. Living in a smaller place means no guests (although I’m sure neighbors would be willing to host family, and there are also lovely zimmers available for rent)
2. Living outside of Katzerin makes not having a car much more difficult and buying a car now would deplete our “building fund”
3. Living oustide of Katzerin means that we won’t be the “absorption center” of Katzerin anymore.
4. We really like our friends here, and our neighbors. Although I can answer this concern, since Katzerin is the “city” of the Golan, we would still be in contact with our friends here and would probably see them fairly often as we would likely be travelling back and forth somewhat regularly. And Avnei Eitan is only 25 minutes from Katzerin, so going visiting is not that big a deal.
How would I handle being so limited in having guests? Even for meals, it would be tight in the space, although for most of the year eating outside is a comfortable option.
I know there are people who live on the yishuv without a car, and just as our current plan is to occasionally rent a car, we could still do that there.
Just when we were starting to feel like we could breathe we are back to feeling completely unsettled!
My faith is unwavering, I know that everything is from Hashem and on one hand I feel compelled to follow the pretty obvious signs that I’m being given, but doesn’t it just seem a little too easy?? Can we really have reached that stage of closeness and connection that our needs would just be handed to us, so very neatly?
My gut is telling me to go with it, make the move and don’t look back. “Keep moving forward” as another legendary dreamer once said… So what do you think???
There’s one more little experience to add to this… this afternoon as I turned all this over in my mind one of the thoughts that came to me was that in the yishuvim there are very few lights at night, so one could sit outside one’s house a really see the starts. Katzerin, despite it’s relative tininess compared to actual cities, still has a full array of street lights blighting all but the brightest stars and planets. But then I thought, “but come on, how really important is that anyway.” About 2 hours ago, the entire city lost power, my kids were already asleep, so I went outside and sat on the bench in front of my house… and looked up at the clear, moonless, cloudless sky. I felt like I was being shown a slice of eternity. Nostalgia for summers camping in Lake George kicked in very strong, and I thought, “if we rent that house, I could do this every night.”