Saturday Sep 01, 2012
This week I will celebrate my aliya anniversary. The past four years have been the most educational of my life – I learned how to distinguish orange melon from green, how to enter the jungle of Israeli bureaucracy and come out with health insurance and many other stamped documents whose purpose I am still in the process of trying to clarify. I learned how to bargain for a taxi and how to avoid hearing the driver's life story, where the...
Wednesday Jun 13, 2012
I often question whether my aliya or klita (absorption into Israeli society) have been successful. Do I speak enough Hebrew? Do I have enough Israeli friends? Am I up to date on Israeli music, movies and books? When I misunderstand phone operators and press the wrong extension or don't understand the punchline to a classmate's joke, I feel anxious and unsure of my progress.
A much needed reminder that my klita is in order...
Friday May 25, 2012
I went to buy tissues from the supermarket the other day. They were only selling them in packs of five. When I asked the cashier how I could buy just one pack, she started yelling at me for making demands unreasonable and impossible for any cashier to meet. This experience is important because I have lived it already. A week after I made my official aliya, I attempted to buy a single pack of tissues and was received by a similar response...
Saturday May 19, 2012
This week I went to pick up my very first gas mask. As I carried the cardboard box home, people on the street stopped to ask me if the war had broken out already. Still unclear on the proper etiquette for joking about biological and chemical warfare, I just smiled and shook my head.
At home I couldn't figure out where to store it. My first instinct was to stick it in my pharmaceuticals drawer, but it was too big. An Israeli Anglo...
Thursday May 10, 2012
This past Monday, Bar-Ilan University was privileged to host the American ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro. When the ambassador sat down to talk with students, I had the opportunity to ask him about his work. I wanted to know if, as a Jew and as someone who has made known his personal affinity for the State of Israel, he has ever faced a conflict of interest in his position. Had he ever felt the need to sometimes detach himself from...