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My Aliyah Journal

    Tu B’Shevat – A Whole New Holiday

    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.

    Job Hunting In Israel

    Interviews in Israel are run more casually, and an interviewer may ask some pretty personal questions.

    Voting For The First Time

    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.

    A Belated Birthday

    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!

    Beyond Our One Kilometer – At Long Last

    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.

    Yet Another Holiday Under Lockdown

    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.

    Electronics In Israel

    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.

    Israeli Ovens And Cats

    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.

    A New School

    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.

    Unpacking 175 Boxes

    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.

    Rosh Hashanah Under Lockdown

    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.

    Hachofesh Hagadol

    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.

    Why Did I Move To Israel?

    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?

    Our Second Pesach In Israel

    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.

    Choosing A Gan For My Daughter

    Her eyes, however, were wide open, taking it all in. She was fascinated by the surrounding babies after our long indoor confinement.

    Life Under Lockdown – Again

    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.

    Back To Normal?

    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.

    In Search Of A Teudat Zehut

    In an apparent effort to ensure both employee and public safety, only a limited number of people were being allowed into the building at a time.

    Olim Cholim

    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.

    New Questions

    Perhaps the hardest questions have related to the political issues here in Israel.

    Shopping In Israel

    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?

    Our First Blackout

    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.

    Celebrating Shushan Purim On Masada

    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.

    Speech Therapy And Scary Masked Men

    From our first appointment, which was with a social worker, I realized that we were going to be facing a challenging experience.

    Food In Israel

    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).

    Celebrating Rain?

    Not a day goes by here in Israel that we don't think about water.

    Doughnuts Galore

    Every gift came with a personalized note, letting the recipient know that her Secret Maccabee was thinking of her.

    My Visit To The Dentist

    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.

    Taking Out The Trash

    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).

    Yet Another Lockdown

    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.


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    Printed from: https://www.jewishpress.com/review/in-print-review/tu-bshevat-a-whole-new-holiday/2021/02/04/

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