Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Ask any oleh and that will tell you that the aliyah experience has plenty of ups and downs.  For the most part, we are thrilled and proud that we are here, but sometimes we kvetch to each other about how things were in the "old country:"

  • Normal priced clothing
  • Ziploc bags
  • Clothes detergent that smells normal, not like a candy factory just threw up
  • Courtesy
  • Grocery carts that don't give you back spasms
  • Customer service

I was talking with a 25-year olah from South Africa the other day.  Frighteningly, she was complaining about the same things I complain about - in other words, after 25 years she still finds this annoying.  That was upsetting - I mean, don't you get used to it?

Apparently not. 

We got to talk about going back to our former countries of residence and how easy everything was. We understood the bank, the doctor, the television, the radio, the traffic signs - everywhere we went we knew how to act, what to do, what to say.  Ahhhhhh. 

Thinking like that can bring you down.  And it did bring me down.  The daily struggle with the language and the culture can wear on you.   

Then today I was driving and listening to the radio.  The newscaster on the radio station was talking about a person in the Sharon region who was attacked by a terrorist today and was injured.  The newscaster, and his reporter on the scene, were relaying the details.  Their conversation was peppered with comments about thanking God that the person wasn't killed, with prayers for the person's recovery, etc. 

My heart swelled.  

Right, I said to myself.  Our country, our holidays, our army, our people.  I am where Jews are supposed to live.  I am proud of myself, and also of all of the people from all over the world who come here to live.  

So I can think about speaking English in a Baltimore bank, and how easy that is.  But after all, living in Baltimore was just a temporary stopover until I came home. 

Sometimes you have to stop and think big. 



  1. Spot on. I need to hear this every so often. Chag Sameach!

  2. The detergent problem has been solved, they have Tide here now. I don't even know how much more expensive it is, because we are a small family and I hated the fact that my clothes didn't smell clean. My boys reactions were more along the lines of, 'You want me to wear clothes that smell like THIS?'

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