What Aliyah Looks Like (for My Family at Least) in 2020

Even while we currently adhere to responsible social distancing, the sheer wonder of acculturating into life in the Jewish state is far from wearing-off.

Jewish immigrants from France arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel on July 17, 2019. JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images.

Jewish immigrants from France arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel on July 17, 2019. JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images.

Observation
April 3 2020
About the author

Sarah Rindner teaches English literature at Lander College in New York and blogs at Book of Books.


In 2012 the state of Israel established a new holiday called “Yom Aliyah” (immigration day) to celebrate the ingathering of Jewish exiles and the contributions of these immigrants to Israeli society. Yom Aliyah takes place on the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Nisan: the biblical date on which Joshua led the Jewish people across the Jordan River and into the Land of Israel. (This year, it falls on April 5.) Since this date is just a few days before Passover, when Israeli schools are usually closed for the holiday vacation, Aliyah Day is also celebrated in the fall on the seventh day of Ḥeshvan, on which, according to tradition, God first told Abraham to enter the promised land.

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More about: Aliyah, Coronavirus, Israel & Zionism