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Is it okay to cry? – letter from Jerusalem

editor - 26 March 2020

Dear friends,

Recently I updated you about Aliyah in the times of Corona. I wrote with concern and yet with a feeling of strength in being part of the State of Israel – acting responsibly and wisely and with a feeling of pride – in being part of The Jewish Agency for Israel, serving our country and people around the globe and continuing to welcome Aliyah.

And indeed this week has passed like a whirlwind: children at home with no school, new instructions on further isolation coming out almost daily and all the while, one urgent Aliyah story after another.

From the single mother arriving on a late night flight from Ukraine with her 2 year old daughter, all alone.

The family from Brazil with the 6 year old violin prodigy already proudly learning to play Hatikva, Israel’s national anthem, on his violin.

The elderly mother, a cancer patient arriving this evening from Ukraine with her son, desperate to receive lifesaving treatment in Israel which despite the Corona crises, Israel’s health ministry has promised she will receive. Her Aliyah was made possible at the last minute, the “green light” received only today in the afternoon of the 19th of March  – the day of her arrival! In cooperation with Rabbi Mendel Cohen from Mariupol, Christians for Israel Ukraine and the Jewish Agency. What a beautiful cooperation in saving lives!

The mother from Ukraine who made Aliyah with her son


All are being warmly welcomed to our Aliyah centres (First Home in the Homeland), from north to south, being given a shelter in the storm, a safe, fully equipped apartment in which they will spend the next 14 days of quarantine.

This entire process led by dedicated people-angels, that I am so proud to call my colleagues.

These Aliyah workers, leave their own children at home and do everything from preparing the needed paper work to ensure that the bank account and health insurance are provided ,to furnishing the apartment, shopping for food in the supermarket and fully stocking the apartment, thinking about every small detail:

Is their wifi in the apartment? Are the blankets warm enough? What toys will the two year old child play with?

For me, now at this time on Thursday evening, the “end” of my work week, after hearing these stories, talking to the olim, encouraging my colleagues and working to try to ensure they have the immense financial resources they need at this time, I simply feel like crying.

Is that okay I wonder?

For sadness over the trials and tribulations faced by the olim (immigrants), by my colleagues, by all of us.

But more so, for simple, without an ounce of cynicism joy, in the privilege of being in this place, at this time.

At this time, I wish to thank you, our great friends, that despite all of your concerns, have reached out to us and offered help: Funds for food, toys and equipment for the olim. Funds so these new olim can soon celebrate Passover – the holiday of freedom – even for the olim in quarantine.

I wrote to you last week with the quote from the Book of Esther: “For Such a Time as This” .

I never prayed for such times, but thank G-d we have the strength to face them. Even if we allow ourselves to shed a tear.

Wishing you faith, health and strength,

Danielle Mor


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