The Joyful Conflict: Readjusting to the return to Israel


By Dr. Sam Minskoff Ph.D

Re-adjustment – what is meant by this term??  Doesn’t one have to adjust the first time in order to adjust again or “re”-adjust the second or third or more times?

It’s important to think of klitah or adjusting to living in Israel after Aliya as adjusting once more to the Land of Our Fathers.  In this way of thinking we as Jews are constantly reminded of the most profound historical significance behind the concept of ‘return’.  When Jews move from their host (Diaspora) countries to live in Israel, it is called Aliyah; ‘moving up – not just emigrating and become virtually instant citizens of Israel under the Law of RETURN!  It would seem then, to “explicitly imply” that to return is to readjust.  Return connotes that we as a people were in Israel once before or why use the term RETURN??  So it seems that it would stand to reason that to return is to re-adjust. Both terms having the historical concept, as ancient as it is, of doing something again even though it is experienced as the FIRST TIME which can be a ‘joyful conflict’ indeed.

When re-adjusting, in this state of affairs, [aliyah], the returning Jew experiences Israel as if it is a strange foreign place with many inconveniences. Therefore, it might as well be adjustment not re-adjustment because there is no familiarity with the Land except for a subtle yet profound notion that there is some un-explainable connection to The Land Of Israel.  Ha Rav Kook, of Blessed memory, talks about this phenomenon. This joyful conflict is what makes the Aliyah experience especially unique.  Naturally, the experience differs for every individual.  Yet, there stills seems to be this ‘common draw’ to the Land that is extremely difficult to put into words because [perhaps] there are no such words that cover every individual’s unique experience.  Each Oleh or Olah will find those words for themselves… in time.

This is addressing those now who think they are having a hard time [re-] adjusting to The Land.

Remember why you came here – hold on to that.  Beware of disappointment and disillusionment.  Disillusion is still illusion.  Then there can be deception when it hits at the emotional or gut level, which can be very overwhelming even convincing.

Of course you miss your friends, etc. It feels like a great loss right now [because it is].  It’s takes time but know that it is all worth it and you will come to know that. Experience much joy in knowing that for once in your life, you are in the right place at the right time.  We, as Jews, come to Israel certainly not because it is a punishment or a banishment –those days are OVER – thank G-d.

The readjustment happens from within and can be challenging as we shed the “exile mentality”.  Having an exile mentality, by the way,  is something not to be harshly criticized for.  Indeed, it is quite an understandable situation that needs to be greatly acknowledged and respected.  This could very well reflect an aspect of the study of the psychology of finding one’s destiny. That is, learning and understanding what an individual goes through in experiencing and living his or her destiny.  Often, it involves the process of letting go and moving on UP [Aliyah].

Accordingly, to all of you reading this and to those that are already here in Israel or considering moving to Israel – be strong and come here, then keep strong and stay here.  

To our soldiers defending Israel; G-d bless you and protect you.

Dr. Sam Minskoff Ph.D welcomes enquiries and can be reached by email at

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