I know I will probably be processing this experience for a while to come, but one lesson that is already apparent to me is that Israelis are amazingly tough and resilient people.
While we were cleared to leave the mamad 10 minutes after the siren ended, we continued to sit there long after, trying to process what had just occurred.
I was so much indebted to these heroes; what more could I do to keep their memories alive?
While sometimes the letters spell out the party name or represent the party leader’s name or platform, there isn’t always a clear connection between the two.
My husband Tzvi has settled into working remotely, and the kids love being able to drop in to supervise his work.
One year later, we are free from lockdown, but still unable to celebrate a seder with family, as it is currently nearly impossible to travel between Israel and North America.
Indeed, I could not believe how grown up she looked at her party. Sitting on her birthday throne, crowned in a wreath of flowers, bedecked in her best party dress, she looked like such a little lady!
While the chag was still nice, it just wasn’t the Adar excitement we had expected. Reflecting on this over Shabbat, my husband and I decided we still had time to make this holiday special.
My husband and I debated what was best for the kids. We wanted to do whatever we could to keep them safe, but we also wanted to give them their best opportunities to grow, learn, and have fun.
As my kids and I have taken daily walks for a month now, it is not an exaggeration to say that we literally know every crack in the sidewalk within our allowed kilometer.
From our first appointment, which was with a social worker, I realized that we were going to be facing a challenging experience.
In the late 19th century, when the first aliyah arrived in Palestine, the land was a barren desert. Through hard work, sacrifice, and belief (not to mention a whole lot of hashgacha pratis), the land was transformed into the lush beautiful country we all enjoy today.
The items wouldn’t be replaced or refunded. I was informed that they had been delivered by their use-by date and that I could have frozen them.
Those large panoramic windows that facilitate cool cross breezes on hot summer nights? Now they facilitate a less pleasant winter wind – even with the shutters tightly closed.
Despite the chaos, it's clear that the government is committed to trying to keep us safe while allowing life to continue as much as possible.
Interviews in Israel are run more casually, and an interviewer may ask some pretty personal questions.
Throughout the city there are various historical and archeological sites connected to the Maccabee time period, and my husband and son were lucky enough to participate in a shul trip for the local kids to one of these sites.
Every gift came with a personalized note, letting the recipient know that her Secret Maccabee was thinking of her.
While I certainly don’t love giving my Adi too much screen time, I must admit that I found myself easily caving whenever he begged me to allow him to “review” the videos just one more time.
Growing up, I read Israeli papers to keep up on the matzav (situation) in Israel. These days, I find myself starting each day reading through the New York papers to keep up to date on what the matzav is there.
Think that despite it all, things are going fine? Perhaps you “chai b’seret,” live in a movie – i.e. not in reality. (Someone who is a drama queen is referred to oddly as “l’echol sratim,” someone who “eats movies.”)
Perhaps the hardest questions have related to the political issues here in Israel.
Unfamiliar with other parents in my daughter’s gan, we also didn’t have anyone to commiserate with during the long sleepless nights of my daughter’s illness.
Not a day goes by here in Israel that we don't think about water.
At a loss, I thrust my American credit card into her gloved hands and explained that we were new olim and did not understand. Could she please just charge us for the shoes?
Missing out on the candy bags? KDT had us covered. The shul set up a “pekalach swap” whereby every KDT family was tasked with delivering a candy bag to another family in the shul.
With Sukkot evenings as delightful as this, I no longer understand the age-old dvar Torah about why Sukkot is celebrated in the autumn instead of the spring.
In true “Big Brother” fashion, the Shin Bet finds contact points between Covid-19 patients and others using cell phone tracking systems generally employed for counterterrorism operations.
While my children and I did not attend shul this year (my husband attended a very small, very early morning minyan), we did manage to have a special davening experience.
While I generally had a lot of fun on these interviews, I still am embarrassed when I recall our first in-Hebrew television interview.