6 Months. Not 6 days, or 6 weeks. We made it to half a year. It seems like just yesterday we walked off the plane and into our new Homeland. It feels like a dream- the perfect dream that you never want to end. So much has happened since we moved to Israel- it seems like more things have happened in the last 6 months than have happened in the last 6 years in America. Maybe it’s because I am not officially working this year yet. But that doesn’t mean I am just sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I have, in my opinion, taken every day here and given it my fullest attention. Here are some random things I’ve figured out since moving here with my family.
~ Waking up at 6:30am every Sunday morning is not fun. But sending the kids to school on Sunday is fun- they may not agree with me on this one! Something I still have to learn is not to treat my Saturday night like I’ll be able to sleep in the next day.
~ The dust will show up again exactly 5 minutes after I finished mopping the entire apartment. Where does is come from?! Which brings me to my next point- that I’m really improving my Sponga skills, not happily.
~ There are 3 Rami Levis, an Osher Ad, Shufersal, and SuperDeal, in my “backyard” and they are all crowded all the time. It doesn’t matter what time of day, or what day of the week- the lines will always be excruciatingly long- in each store! I remember shopping in Shoprite of Paramus, New Jersey. I’d fill up my wagon with food for Shabbat and the following week, and random people would comment- “Why do you need so much food?” “How many kids do you have?” But in Israel, everyone is shopping for Shabbat and Yom Tov at the same time. Everyone’s carts are filled to the rim, and no one needs to comment because their cart looks exactly the same!
~ The more you talk to and listen to Israelis on the streets, the better your Hebrew will get. I am having the best time meeting and talking to new people (read: strangers that become new friends). It’s ok that my husband thinks I’m crazy 😉 I’m having a blast!
~Hold on to whichever type of head covering you wear because when it is windy, the wind is vicious! It literally pushed me down to the ground- luckily I landed on the grass!
~Don’t forget to turn on the Dud Shemesh well before you want to shower- or you won’t be showering in hot water! I have had screaming children who have threatened to never shower again!
~If you want to go shopping, you must bring a cart for your packages so your arms won’t break. It takes a while for those red marks to go away. And everyone will say to you, “Where is your Agala?!” I love that everyone feels concerned for everyone else!
~Don’t ever attempt to walk outside and shop in a sand storm in the heat of the summer. I almost landed myself into the hospital. #truestory: It was our first week here- the end of August and it was brutally hot. I needed to buy some pots and pans. Not realizing the severity of how damaging a sand storm can be on your health, I went out and walked into the next town. I bought 4 huge bulky boxes with heavy pots and pans. Instead of taking a bus (I really hadn’t learned the bus routes yet) and instead of wasting 25 shekel on a taxi, I decided to walk home. I got lost. I was really hot, my mouth tasted sandy, and it was getting difficult to breathe. When finally I made it back, I made it into the elevator and looked in the mirror- it wasn’t a pretty sight- my face was red and dirty looking, sweaty, and I was breathing heavily, gasping in air. I made it to my floor, and dropped the plastic bag packages, that had since torn, including the new holes I made to carry them. And then I dropped down to the floor, trying to catch my breath. I learned 2 lessons- 1) Don’t walk around outside in the heat during a sand storm. 2) Don’t be cheap if you are caught in a sand storm- get in a taxi!
~People will smile at you after you look at them with a smile. When we first moved here, I’d walk down the street on Shabbat and no one said Shabbat Shalom. So I made it into a friendly game with my kids: Each time we saw someone, we’d say Shabbat Shalom. And guess what! Each person returned the greeting with a huge smile! I hope next time they take the initiative!
~There are days that I’ve wanted to cry, and there are days that I’ve wanted to smile. There are days when I smiled even though deep down I wanted to cry. There are days when my children are crying, that it makes my heart break and question everything. Those are the hardest days. But when we get through them successfully, we’re that much stronger.
~I learned that even when you hear about an awful, tragic terrorist attack, you can’t let your life stop- you need to keep living. You can’t let the terror get to you or else the terrorist wins. And I saw this at the Litman and Beigel wedding after the bride’s father and brother were viciously murdered. Being at that wedding- it felt like the entire Jewish world was there. This is our land and we can’t be afraid in it- this is so much easier to say than to implement.
~ Israel is the land that makes me feel most at home- the Jewish Homeland that we are so lucky to live in. And there is no other place I’d rather be.
Wow! There are so many more experiences that have happened! It’s crazy to think so many things really did happen in such a short time frame! Here’s to all the future experiences I’ll be fortunate enough to have in Israel!