Part II

The kids are now practically Israeli (just not the Hebrew speaking kind). They drink chocolate milks from bags, know where the nearest makolet (mini-mart) is, go alone to the park and know how to use the “rav kav” card thingamabob on the buses.

We’re definitely still on our “aliyah-moon” – even when I get annoyed about things, I manage to brush it off with “yiyeh b’seder” (it’ll be ok) and get on with things. The hardest thing we dealt with last week, was not our first siren (that came last Tuesday night) but hearing that our lift would not reach the port in Ashdod until September 8th, and therefore we won’t have our stuff until some time after that. I stewed over that for a few hours, because as pioneering as I am (those of you who know me well, are no doubt snorting liquid out from your nostrils right now at the thought of me being a pioneer at all….) spending another 3 weeks at least without a real cooking utensil, and more importantly, without my make up and nail polish, is really just a  bit much. I can sleep on a mattress on the floor. I can wash the same towels and sheets over and over. I can even manage to cook with the few things people have lent us, and hopefully we will get a real fridge soon which will enable me to shop for more than a day at a time.

But I really want my clothes. I’m tired of the few things I’ve been wearing non stop for 3 weeks. I want to do my nails. Everywhere we go people ask me what my work is here, and I tell them “I’m a certified nail professional”. They probably think I’m certifiable because my nails are unpolished and boring. Oh well. Yiyeh b’seder…

So, we had our first “azaka” (siren) last Tuesday night. It was about 10:45pm, all the kids were in bed, and Keith & I were working on stuff on laptops. The noise started, we glanced at each other for a split second, and both said “oh, that is definitely a siren”. In that split second, our 12 year old woke up, left her bedroom, went straight into the safe room (our 10 year old’s bedroom), opened the window and pulled shut the sealed shutters. Like a pro. Keith picked up our sleeping 7 year old, the dog followed us all, and into the room we went. Our 10 year old woke up only after the siren had stopped and said “what are you all doing in my room?” The 7 year old woke up briefly, and the dog farted, which really was enough to make everyone wish away those 10 minutes really, really fast… No one panicked, no one was scared, everyone went straight back to sleep, and that was that. It did prompt some interesting conversations the next day. Everywhere we went, the kids paid attention, and asked where we would go for cover if there was another siren. But not in any way that makes us  believe they were scared. They are just aware now. 90 seconds is a long time to get to safety, as long as you’re in a built up area. We are lucky, in the south, they only have 15 seconds.

We dealt with more bureaucracy during the week too, with a visit to the Absorption Ministry (how many countries have one of those, by the way? A ministry dedicated solely to helping immigrants?) We learned about the “sal klita” – the absorption basket – money that we will start to receive shortly, and Keith was given information about Ulpan (Hebrew classes). Ulpan, by the way, is 100% free, plus the Absorption Ministry reimburses you 90% of your travel expenses! What a country. 

We got everyone fully signed up for health care. For the first year it is completely free. Imagine that! When I moved to the US from the UK, it was next to impossible for me to get health insurance as an individual who was willing to pay for it, let alone get anything for free! After the first year, health insurance is covered by the Israeli equivalent of social security, but the cost is negligible compared to what you pay in the US. I’m not  going to argue with anyone over the quality of Israeli vs US healthcare, I’ll just say that I’ve lived in Ireland, Israel, the UK and the US, and the US has by far the absolute worst health care system, and Israel has by far the very best. Nothing is perfect.

We went to purchase textbooks for the kids for school. School is free, but the parents buy the books. I was completely overwhelmed when we walked into the store. So I asked if I could possibly leave the lists with them, and come pick up the books when they were ready. They told me yes. When I told someone this in synagogue on Shabbat she said “oh you’re already so Israeli!” – And there was me thinking it was a very Boca thing to do!

Our 12 year old starts school on Thursday. She has an orientation on Wednesday afternoon. Today we drove by her school to see where it is, as we had no idea. It’s a brand new  building, just completed this summer, and from the outside it looks very, very nice. A large building, on lots of campus grounds. She’s a little nervous, but also excited. She has met a number of girls that she will be in school with, and 7th grade is the entrance grade at the school, so it’s new to all of them. She has a late start this year, compared to last year – she’ll be picked up by the bus at 7:15 instead of 7, and the bus is picking her up outside our building. Score!

We have rented a car for the week, so we can explore a little further outside of Rehovot. I have a special birthday coming up on Wednesday. I really wanted a Nespresso coffeemaker for my birthday, but instead, it looks like I will be getting either a bed, a fridge, a washer, or if I’m very lucky indeed, a printer…

Yiyeh B’seder!



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rabbi M. Friedman
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 21:39:51

    The south of Israel is under constant bombardment! The Governments left and now slight to right don’t have the BAYTZIM to ground the Hamas into the ground that they LOVE so much(tunnels).. The political composite has no resolution.  What are yu doing?  Providing canon fodder?  Are you delusional?  Go out organize tens of thousands to put pressure on the Judenrat government.  When your President Ruby Rivlin congratulates a Jewish female upon her marriage to a  GOY and yet an Arab in Israel and tells Jews “In a democracy, one needs to repsect others no matter the pain”! Itas time to over throw the government and set up a real Jewish government.  Did yu go to the mom whose  4 1/2 baby boy was ripped apart by fragments from an Arab rocket?  How about the Jews who confronted both Arabs and demonstrating aggressively against the Judenrat government and are now sitting in jail? What are you doing about it?   Stop your impish emails to the Jewish public! Shame! Shame! Shame!

      Rabbi M. Friedman, Ed.


    • vanessabrooksceo
      Aug 24, 2014 @ 21:58:03

      Take up your arguments with the Israeli government! How dare you attack me, on MY blog, about MY family making aliyah. The next comment like this that you publish on my blog will simply be deleted. I’m not fodder for anyone, nor am I delusional. If you have a problem go find some one else to yell at!


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