About Almost Eden


I’m Tehillah (aka Teresa) Hessler. This blog has been created for those of you who have been asking about the Aliyah process and/or just want to know how we are and what we’re up to. I intended to start this months ago, but my plans aren’t always in the Master plan. So some of this will be reconstructed from e-mails and notes I’ve taken during the past months and years.

The blog name comes from the teaching that the cave of machpela where Adam & Chava (aka Eve), Abraham & Sarah, Yitchak & Rivka (Issac & Rebecca), and Yaakov and Leah (Jacob & Leah) are buried is the entrance to Gan Eden (The Garden of Eden). Since our new home is in Ma’aleh Adumim (a few miles east of Jerusalem) and the cave is in Chevron (Hebron), we are Almost at the entrance to Gan Eden – at least a whole lot closer than we were in the US!

We began toying with the idea of Aliyah shortly after Yisrael was born (in 2000) and officially applied to the Jewish Agency in November of 2004. It has taken us a bit longer than the norm to get this all together (because we aren’t the average Jewish family), so if you decide to make Aliyah please don’t expect the process to be exactly the same as what you read in this blog.

Additionally, please keep in mind that unless otherwise noted, this is all strictly my perspective – Michael often has an entirely different one (and may someday start his own blog)!

Disclaimer – Warning
Our audience consists of people from a variety of backgrounds, varying degrees of religiousity, and religions (to my knowledge Jews, Catholics, Christians and secular humanists). Therefore,

I attempt to use terms that are easily understandable or link off to definitions when I feel its appropriate.

If you don’t understand something and I’ve neglected to explain it thoroughly, please e-mail me.

A note to ULTRA-religious Jews: It is not my intention to offend you in any way, however, when referring to the ONE Creator of Heaven and Earth I choose not to eliminate vowels from “God” or “Hashem” (which means “THE NAME” in Hebrew). I use as my guide in this decision the writings of Rabbi Nachman Kahana and Rabbi Berel Wein who continue to challenge, inspire and entertain me (and tens of thousands of their followers) every week. If you find this offensive, I apologize and respectfully suggest you look elsewhere for Aliyah content.

Unless I forget to add the code, definition and photo links are set to open in a new window, to prevent the need to jump back and forth in order for you to understand terms.

Kol Tuv v’Lehitraot (All the Best – and Later)!

The Hessler Family

P.S. Unless otherwise noted, all content on this blog is Copyright © 2008-2011 (and on to infinity) Tehillah Hessler