27 Years and Still Smiling: By Shmuel Sackett
Note: I originally wrote this article 5 years ago on my 22nd Aliyah anniversary and update it each year. I hope you enjoy it.
Today I celebrated my 27th Aliyah anniversary… and I am still smiling!
I still break my teeth speaking Hebrew, have problems reading the Yediot Aharonot newspaper (not such a loss) and can’t figure out why I work on Sunday but – I am still smiling!
I pay close to $7.00 a gallon for gas (so stop complaining about gas prices in the USA), check every Pesach product 12 times for Kitniyot and get headlights flashed at me from the car behind me even though I am driving 20 miles over the speed limit (how fast is HE going???) but – I am still smiling!
I went to miluim (army reserves) for 15 years even though they didn’t let me shoot anybody, pay a ridiculous TV tax even though I don’t have a TV and eat 15 sufganiyot on Chanukah even though 14 of them never have jelly but – I am still smiling!
Since I am one of those “crazy” people who had the nerve of opposing the Oslo “Peace Process” (how dare did I do such a thing???) I had the honor of being beaten by Israeli riot policemen, been arrested 10 times, convicted of sedition, sentenced to 12 months in prison and fired from my job by Shulamit Aloni (remember her?) yet, through all of it… I am still smiling!
Of course, there are things that I do not smile about. I do not smile when I remember my dear friends Binyamin and Talia Kahane with whom I ate lunch four days before their tragic murder by terrorists who received guns from Shimon Peres. I do not smile when I think of my close friend Hillel Lieberman who was murdered shortly after Rabin gave the Arabs control of the holy city of Shechem. I used to daven with Hillel in Kever Yosef. What a Tzaddik he was! Furthermore, I do not smile at the fact that at Hillel’s funeral, my wife and I were shot at by Arabs. Only a miracle guided those bullets away from our car. And finally, I do not smile at the saddest day of my entire Aliyah – just 4 months after I arrived here – when I joined 150,000 Jews in burying my holy and amazing Rebbe; HaRav Meir Kahane ztz”l. On that sad day I waited in line to say some Tefillot by his newly dug grave and vowed to do whatever I could to bring his dream of Israel as a strong and proud Jewish State to fruition. Baruch Hashem, I have kept that vow as I work, night and day, to bring new leadership to this country that follows his vision.
And so, even though not all of the 9,855 days have been rosy, I am still smiling because I know that in the end we will emerge victorious. Good will defeat evil and those that work to sanctify Hashem’s Name will beat those who desecrate it. New leaders who are beaming with Jewish pride will soon lead Israel and the once mighty IDF will return to become the army of Hashem it was in 1967.
The first 27 years are now over and I thank Hashem for being with me every step of the way. My wife gave birth to two beautiful babies here in Israel (the littlest one just finished her year of “Sherut Leumi / National Service”) and they joined our four American imports, Baruch Hashem. We built a house, walked four children down to their chuppa and had our son’s bar mitzvah catered by Kentucky Fried Chicken (try that in the States!!)
What will the next 27 years bring? I pray that Hashem will guide me, my family and all of Klal Yisrael in doing what needs to be done to end the pain and suffering of His people. I beg that Hashem help us in sanctifying His great and holy Name and hope that the shedding of Jewish blood is over forever. By the time I write my article for my 30th anniversary I pray that the Bet Ha’Mikdash will have been built and that all our brothers and sisters – from the four corners of the earth – returned to our Promised Land.
And I pray that I will still be smiling…