As we’ve learned time and time again through this aliyah process, ultimately everything is in Hashem’s hands.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Her eyes, however, were wide open, taking it all in. She was fascinated by the surrounding babies after our long indoor confinement.
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.
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.
Interviews in Israel are run more casually, and an interviewer may ask some pretty personal questions.
Not a day goes by here in Israel that we don't think about water.
Here in Modi’in we have a wonderful Absorption Department, with olim coordinators that go above and beyond to help.
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.
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).
Perhaps the hardest questions have related to the political issues here in Israel.
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.”)
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
Making aliyah is never easy, let alone in the age of coronavirus.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.