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Jewish Journal

When You Wish Upon a Camel

by Lara Berman

May 27, 2010 | 9:00 am

"Awww, Lara ~ really? You've been dreaming about me all these years? Gorsh. Shucks." said the blushing, Happy Camel.

There are some things we do and we wonder, “Is it the right thing?”

I’m famous for this. Even after making a decision and taca, taking steps in that direction, I will silently torment myself, wondering whether I made the best choice. So, when no questioning occurs…when I make a decision and feel completely shalem (at peace) about it…it stands out. It’s like, “Whoa. What’s this whole clarity thing about? No inner struggle? Really? Am I ok?” It doesn’t happen often, ya see.

But that’s exactly what happened this year when I decided enough is enough – I’m going to live out my childhood dream of living in Israel and learning Hebrew.

My love of Israel started at age 11 when my family and I lived in Netanya for one month. The memories are still vivid today. Since that young age, I was always trying to figure out when I would return for the summer to learn Hebrew. But inevitably, whenever concrete plans would begin to materialize, some career opportunity would present itself and I would cancel everything and stay in the States. I’ve always been very career-minded and thought my Israel dream was too self indulgent to take precedence over practical working matters…until now.

May 5th, I turned 30. Yikes! I’d now been thinking about this trip for over 15 years with zero action.

I asked myself , “Lara, are you really just full of it? Either do what you say you’re going to do already, or stop talking about it!” I knew I’d forever regret not pursuing this dream. Furthermore, I realized this idea of the “right time” doesn’t exist. My life would never stop to let me live my dream. Did I think taking off to another country would become easier as I grew older? No! The right time would be when I said it was. So, I said it was. 

As soon as I made the decision, magic began happening…and now I understand why. See, deciding to live in Israel is different than wanting to go party in Brazil. The Guy upstairs will move mountains to help you go home. And so it was with me. All the pieces fell into place with curious ease: My apartment got rented; I got great deals on movers and storage; my parents supported my decision and were excited for me; a best friend would just *happen* to be in Israel before I arrived and would find me an apartment. Pashoot! (Simple!)

Now, I ask you: How often is uprooting your life and moving a stress-less situation, free of doubts and uncertainty? The idea is laughable. Moving is said to be one of the top 3 most stressful occurrences in a person’s life – let alone when you’re going to the other side of the planet, away from friends and family to a place with a foreign language! When despite all that, you feel total peace and ease, it’s magic; it’s a gift. And I felt the gift. I felt in sync with the Universe, gently guided, taken care of, validated in my choice, and just…happy.

And so, my trip began: The adventure I’ve dreamt of since I was a little girl.  Lucky, lucky me. Here I go.

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