Lech Lecha—My Home in Israel
“Those were the days my friend”
Ah, the Sixties! Just mention the Sixties, and my mind swirls with the sights, scents and scenes of flamboyant colors, social protests, art and music festivals. Flower wreaths in the hair, guitars, the search for the self and the search for the soul. The Sixties gave new meaning to Freedom, Liberation, Peace and Possibility.
For my family , 1960 was a foundational year. It was the year when my parents—both born and bred Americans, newlyweds, packed up their life & dreams. With the fires of Judaism fueling their actions, they courageously abandoned the familiarity and comfort of American life to settle the land of our forefathers, building a home and raising a family in the heart of the holy city of Jerusalem.
Lech Lecha—Leave Your Comfort Zone Behind!
What impelled my parents to take this step? When did they decide that it was time?
It was precisely 54 years ago, during this week of Parshat Lech Lecha—when Hashem commanded Avraham Avinu, “Lech lecha—Go from your land and your birthplace and the house of your father to the place that I will show you.”
Hashem commands Avraham to depart his comfort zone, all that’s familiar on a personal, cultural and sentimental level, to venture upon a journey into the unknown. His was a journey without a specified destination, but a destination that was promised and secure.
The Sages teach that “The land of Israel is acquired with hardships,” and believe me, the taxes here really are sky-high! But apparently, hardships and adversities here are still felt less than the challenges of living in exile, as proven by the countless Jews who determine to leave their comfort zones and settle the holy land. They abandon their birthplace, their families and friends, the familiarity of all they know in France, England, Canada, and the USA to ascend to the Holy Land and build a new home in the land of “the great and holy Temple which is called upon Your Name.”
For some, it’s a permanent home. For others, it’s their regular retreat, their home away from home. It’s the place where they feel a deep intrinsic connection, where they partner with the land of Israel and prepare to greet the Messiah. (And if we follow the soaring real estate prices, he must be on his way soon!)
Obstacles along the Route of Ascent
Foreign residents in Israel seeking not only to build a home, but also to feel at home in Israel, demand and appreciate the design standards of their native land. The trouble often is, how can you guarantee that everything’s up to par when you’re overseas, thousands of miles away?
Even the most courageous ones on the verge of leaving it all behind to settle the Jewish homeland may hesitate when it comes to building a new home, and these questions and doubts can cause them to waver.
How do I go about comparing prices? How can I choose floors, wall panels, sanitary units and furniture when I can’t see it with my own eyes? How can I ensure that I’m hiring an honest, reliable contractor who will guarantee top quality standard? Where will I browse for accents and home décor? How will I arrange payments to my suppliers and workmen?
Who will argue with the floorer when the two extra tiles he brought to finish the room are the wrong shade? Who’ll be on site when the washing machine arrives to ensure that it’s properly installed? Who’ll ascertain that the cleaning company did a thorough job when construction and renovations are complete, and who’ll watch to make sure that the antique dresser doesn’t get mutilated or scratched along the way?
Above all, who’ll guide me through the labyrinth of planning, of oreign culture and language, and make sure that I’m getting my money’s worth?
Integrity is #1
Matter & Spirit is founded on the premise of integrity and trust. I’m here for my clients, 100%. I guide you, wherever you are—whether nearby or across the ocean—navigating the long, sometimes circuitous and obstacle-strewn path of construction and renovation from A to Z. Guaranteed.
I correspond with you regularly via e-mail and internet, transferring information, ideas and plans back and forth. I send high-quality photos of all materials so you can see and choose exactly what you like best. I also manage your construction account meticulously, working with complete transparency, comparing and sending you precise price quotes and receipts—all with the goal of letting you feel secure in your choice and on top of the process.
I’ve been there. I know that journeying into the unknown can be formidable and even scary. But I’ve learned that when you find someone trustworthy on whom you can rely, the journey becomes less intimidating, and the fear is mitigated. Trusting someone lets you relax, so instead of wasting your energies on anxiety and tension, you can invest your strengths and thoughts into the creativity and excitement that will bring about the home of your dreams!
Covenant of the Forefathers
Hashem promises Avraham, “And I will give you the land of your dwelling as an everlasting possession.” This land that was once hidden, dormant—the house that was once unknown, merely a dream—becomes yours. In your heart—for you and your children.