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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

משרד לקליטה / Israeli Immigration Ad making me teary...



Usually it's only Nefesh b'Nefesh videos that can do that... I know these ads have been extremely controversial here, but I think this one is just right.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Geshem, geshem

Cross-posted from my main blog:

image Batya at me-ander posted this beautiful picture of Israelis suddenly caught in the rain yesterday.

I mentioned the rain to YM when he Skyped earlier this evening… and he said he knew, it was raining as we were talking (he was in Har Nof).  I said, “Baruch Hashem!”

But no, it wasn’t entirely a happy thing.  While he was out biking around, he slipped and fell and scraped his elbow. 

I told him he should STILL say "Baruch Hashem - it's raining in Israel!"  He didn't quite see it that way, but b"h, his elbow looked more dirty than injured.  (Yes, most of us probably would have washed it off right away, especially before getting under the sheets in a home in which we were the guest… but that is neither here nor there.)   (He was Skyping us in bed… it was after midnight, and he had to whisper.)

I thought this was actually pretty funny, because here, he rides in the rain all the time.  Snow, if we’d let him.  And then suddenly, he's an Israeli – all of his yucky-Canadian-weather instincts GONE??? :-)))

This gives me hope – may all my children adapt so quickly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shallow Reason #8…

… to make aliyah:

The two rooms here that make me sneeze EVERY SINGLE %#!^ time I walk into them – the bathroom and the laundry room.  Well, the laundry room is a sure thing; the bathroom is maybe only 60%.  Coincidence, that these are the two dampest places in the house?

And yes, I know mold grows in Israel, too.  And I do know that the flipside of too much humidity is drought.  And, well, scorpions.

I did say these were shallow reasons, right?

Shallow Reason #12…

…to make aliyah: 

No more 3-day yom tov!  (Well, ONE; Rosh Hashanah is still 2 days, even in Israel.)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Smart Questions… NO answers?

A short, but probably growing, list of smart questions people ask us, as prospective olim, for which we have ZERO answers at the present time.  Starting with the most common question, the one everybody asks:

  1. Where will you live?  Somewhere cool.  Is there such a thing?  My project for this summer is tracking average temperatures in various parts of Israel.  Cool and not humid.
  2. What about your mother?  I think of this as the Kohen’s Mother Dilemma, and addressed this, a bit, at my other blog.  (accidentally typed “my mother blog” – ha ha ha)  Aliyah will definitely cut not one but many umbilici.  And I’m surprised Windows Live Writer didn’t tag that word as a typo…
  3. Are you bringing a lift?  Actually, I have an answer:  yes.  I want my stuff.  Well, not ALL my stuff.  Some of my stuff.  More than we can bring in suitcases and boxes, I think.  A lift is expensive, new stuff is expensive.  See what I mean about not having any answers?  A friend mentioned half a  lift the other day.  So maybe this question DOES have an answer.

And then there’s one question I thought I had the answer to, but it turns out maybe I don’t:

  1. Will you continue to homeschoolI thought my answer was simple:  NO.  For two reasons, socialization and language, I thought it would be better to put the kids in Israeli schools almost immediately.  In fact, THREE reasons:  us parents are going to need jobs and/or full-time ulpan almost immediately.  There is a fourth reason (are you surprised?):  my promise to Naomi, almost from the beginning, that she would be able to go to school when we made aliyah.  So why fight it?  Why not give up homeschooling?  One BIG reason:  it’s really good for my kids.  In the back of my mind, I have the idea that the kids can go to school and then, due to Israel’s notoriously short school days, I can homeschool them in their spare hours.  But I don’t know if it’s really possible, and quite honestly, that makes me very sad…

Aliyah Live!

image I tuned in live at midnight one night earlier this week to watch Nefesh b’Nefesh’s first aliyah flight of the summer arriving at Ben Gurion airport.

It was exciting, if not, perhaps, as exhilarating as watching a space shuttle launch.  The plane touched down without incident, and hundreds of Israelis were there to great 250 of 5000 olim this summer.

Apparently, if you’re not on one of the charter flights (only 2 this summer), you don’t get the official greeting party, t-shirts, balloons, etc.  You just arrive.

Still – I think it would be pretty darn exciting to be actually ON that plane, though probably nobody would be there to meet us – since we hardly know anybody in the country.  If you’re in Israel and you’re reading this, keep two summers from now free for us, okay?

Here are this summer’s scheduled aliyah flights:

image

Would it be cheesy to go send off the Canadian group???

But 5000… wow.  I keep wondering where they’re going to put them all.  According to Avivah over at Oceans of Joy, Karmiel, where “purchase prices … have gone up about 25% in the last six months.”  Oy, vey.  :-o

Hashem ya’azor – somehow, Hashem will help us find a place and a new life beyond the arrival flight, among those thousands of olim.

Friday, June 17, 2011

So lay off

From Rabbi Phil Chernofsky, director of the OU Israel Centre, who has a parsha radio show I have listened to off and on for over 10 years:

What is the sin of the spies?

3300+ years later, people are still saying the same thing in our own time!

When somebody says in public that he is of the opinion that it’s easier to raise a child to be a good Orthodox Jew in New York than it is in Israel, this is the sin of the spies – alive and well in our time.

When someone says “it’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there” – THAT is cheit hameraglim, the sin of the spies.

When people say to the person who does make aliyah, “What, are you out of your mind?” – this is a perpetuation of the sin of the spies.

Listen online or download the full parsha audio as an MP3 here.

It constantly amazes me that people feel they have to POINT THINGS OUT about moving to Israel, as if we haven’t thought of them:

“What will your mother do without you?”

“What about the situation over there?”

“That’s very far away.”

“Won’t you miss your family?”

My mother is 65 years old – not exactly elderly.  I hope she can come and visit.  Maybe she can come and live.  And the SITUATION is no worse and probably much better than at most other times in the history of that little patch of land.  Yes, it is very far away.  Yes, we are moderately comfortable here.  Yes, this will be very hard.

At shul a couple of weeks ago, a woman came over who was in Ted’s Conversational Hebrew class over the winter (as usual, the ladies all loved him!).  She’s an older woman I’ve seen there but never spoken with. 

She told me she’s going in August and don’t let anything anybody says discourage us, because it’s the right thing to do.  Two sentences, maybe a bit more… but it was the very, VERY most helpful thing anybody has ever said since this plan was hatched.

If you think of something bad about moving to Israel, well, we’ve thought of it, thousands of Jews who plan to live their entire Jewish lives here in Toronto have thought of it… the meraglim have thought of it.  Those thoughts are old news.

Try thinking something new and wonderful, and then tell me all about it.

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