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.
As I approached the school along with tens of other children and parents, the excitement was palpable. The principal stood at the gate of the school, greeting each child with an elbow bump and a smile.
There is actually a fantastic Facebook group – “LoveLoveIsrael-Tried and Tested” – where you can find everything you may want to know about visiting almost anywhere in Israel.
Before calling the municipality to arrange a special pickup of furniture or large appliances, residents often post pictures of these items on Facebook or WhatsApp groups with the simple message of "limisira b'ahava" (for donation with love).
We find daily excuses to run in to pick up just a loaf of bread, and leave with our hands laden with hot bourekas, pita, and lachmaniyot (rolls).
Here in Modi’in we have a wonderful Absorption Department, with olim coordinators that go above and beyond to help.
Admittedly, the lift included some items we had planned to leave behind and others that we had wanted on flight, but while packing had not gone as planned – a running theme in our aliyah – it would have to do.
While olim are offered a steep discount on taxes associated with purchasing a new car, it comes with many complicated strings attached.
As we’ve learned time and time again through this aliyah process, ultimately everything is in Hashem’s hands.
In New York, you can walk into a showroom and examine a range of models; here, most stores carry a few show pieces and otherwise direct you to look through their catalogue to see if you like anything.
I wish I could say it has been smooth sailing since then, but the banking system here is more complicated than I can do justice to here.
After days with no return call, I was desperate. My Israeli friends advised me to show up at the dental clinic as an “emergency case” and insist on being seen.
Her eyes, however, were wide open, taking it all in. She was fascinated by the surrounding babies after our long indoor confinement.
As I watched my family devouring their ice cream cones on the walk back to the car, one thing was clear. My family was really enjoying their time in Israel.
He advised us, though, that we didn’t need to be a “fryer” (a naive oleh) and accept the terms since everything in Israel is subject to negotiation.
Generally, orders arrive in a matter of weeks. Little did I realize that due to coronavirus-related postal delays, our lift would arrive weeks before the books I ordered from this site!
Neighbors congregated in the building hallway to commiserate. Apparently, like cats on patios, power outages are a common part of life here in Israel – especially in the summer.
I spent the rest of the day wondering how he was doing. When I arrived for pickup, I was relieved to see his smiling face.
Living for years in American apartments with either no laundry machine, or a shared laundry room, we had gotten used to planning our weekends around doing laundry.
Why did I stuff my life into 15 duffle bags and fly with my husband and kids amidst an international pandemic to live halfway across the world?