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What not to tell someone making aliyah

(some details of this online conversation are paraphrased to cover up the person’s identity, but I have preserved the gist of the conversation so you may scream along with me)

Concerned Acquaintance (CA) is a person we don’t know all that well, but is a facebook friend, meaning this person has access to me at all hours thanks to the wonders of instant messaging.

Here’s the message that popped up with a chirrup late one night:

CA:  When you get to Israel, don’t forget to buy gas masks.  Find the bomb shelters.  Figure out how to get there fast.  But you’ll get used to it – hang in there!

Me:  Okay, gas masks are on the to-do list.

CA:  When you’re in the shelter, pray.

Me:  :-)

CA:  Yeah, Lebanon has hundreds of thousands of missiles all lined up waiting to rain down on Israel. 

Me:  :-(

CA:  We’ll be praying for you!


CA:  And when the war is over, I’ll come visit!

Me:  Yay!

(I really did say “yay”… really, what else could I have said???)

I’m not saying this person is not correct… these are all valid points, but it’s not like this stuff wouldn’t have occurred to me if it hadn’t been brought to my attention.

“What?  Israel has ENEMIES???!?”


Notes from an aliyah pilot trip

Forgot to mention – I wrote this article – Notes from an aliyah pilot trip – about our pilot trip for the Canadian Jewish News and it ran over Pesach.

They used this picture of us, which I thought was an absolutely TERRIBLE picture, but my daughter said it’s one of the best pictures of me she’s seen.  I don’t know what she’s seeing, but when I look at it I see a bitterly cold February day on which we’re supposed to be standing looking out at Karmiel while I was busy regretting my decision to leave my jacket behind in the tour bus.

It really is Karmiel, though. 

Isn’t it pretty?

Again, in case you missed the link, click here to read the article.  Hard to sum up 2 weeks’ worth of very emotional work in 700 words, but I actually think I did quite nicely…

Goodbye, Library

Just went online and changed all my public library holds so they expire on July 31st.

I almost cried.  This feels like pre-arranging a death.

Rebirth!  Rebirth!  Must focus on being reborn in a new and better place… though it’s hard to imagine a universe where I will not need a constant supply of shiny, happy library books.

The truth, however, is that more and more of my books have been coming from places other than the shelves of the library.  I still need a few hard-copy books for Shabbos and Yom Tov reading, but my Blackberry Playbook is a great ebook reader (I had a kobo touch before that, but with no backlighting, it was next to useless). image I can still get free ebooks from the library, and there are other ways to obtain reading material that don’t depend on living walking-distance from a great English-language library branch.

So this is a good time to be leaving, technologically – it’s probably never been easier to get English-language reading materials in Israel.

Still.  It’s a bittersweet feeling – mostly bitter.  Some of the books on my list, I know, will not arrive in time. 

For one of them, I’m Patron 260 out of 283.  There’s no way 259 people can read however-many copies of the book they have in the next 4 months.

I wonder which of the many goodbyes in the next four months is going to be the hardest –?

Well, okay, besides the obvious – the Big Goodbye with our family.