Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut

Yom HaZikaron has so much more meaning in Israel than Memorial Day seems to have here. I'm sure it has more meaning for people who know military servicemen and women who were killed, but it's also very different. It's a day to mourn the people who were killed, not just for sales and being off of work. Memorial Day here means a long weekend and going away with family and bbqs and for some people, a time to remember and mourn people who were killed...Memorial Day in Israel means a day to remember people who were killed. There is a siren when traffic stops and people get out of their cars IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY to stand out of respect. It's a day where there are ceremonies all over the country in the 24 military cemeteries (24! Military alone! In a country the size of New Jersey!), not to mention those that are buried not in military cemeteries.

Everyone knows someone or has some connection to someone...even me. The farthest connection I can think of is 1 degree away...somebody whose best friend/friend/sibling/uncle/aunt/parent/grandparent/combination of the above/other was killed. I can't think of any farther connections.

Maybe that's why it's so meaningful. It's very, very real. And when it comes into your life, it becomes much more real. On the other hand, I have the same connection to people who were killed here...1 degree away. But it doesn't feel the same. Maybe because it's so many more people? Or just the attitude. Memorial Day is a day to remember and memorialize-- not "sales and bbq day" (which happens to be the day

It's in!

My Proof of Judaism letter is in! All the paperwork is in (minus the original financial affidavit and the passport photos, which I am not sending in; I will bring them in by hand).
It feels like everything is in, but not completed. I still have to have interviews with NBN and the Sochnut (Jewish Agency). I emailed one of the shlichim here to find out about applying to Ulpan Etzion, and he said that first I have to have an interview with the Sochnut...but NBN is kind of running North American aliyah, it seems. So I set up a meeting for May, and we'll take it from there.
On the upside, I can honestly say that I haven't even been accepted for aliyah yet, much less Uplan Etzion...מעונינת לדעת מה ממנהלת וסגן מנהלת יחשבו על זה...אולי לא אגיד להם עד שבוע לפני העליה-- או היום לפני חופש לחורף-- "ביי, אני לא חוזרת אחרי החופש!" סתם-- אני אגיד להם חודש לפני, אבל רק שאני עושה "תכנית עברית אינטסיבי"-- ושאני אחזור בקיץ (אבל לא שאני חוזרת רק לקיץ...) נראה
We shall see how things go and where they go.

On another note, there was an NY --> Israel group meeting yesterday. Went well, I think. I met the organizer of the TA group (she was doing TA, late 20's-40's; I was doign Jlem, 20's...we've merged) who is just as into organization as I am! Yay!
Oh, and I was at Allison's for Shabbat. It was an Israeli Shabbat at NYU. Twas fun.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Changes in the air

or at least on my blog. I changed the title-- figured "יהיה בסדר" is more of an appropriate title, since that seems to be the phrase du jour (or years) of Israel. And I also changed the subtitle to "in the middle" because I'm not at the beginning anymore. Which is kind of good and scary at the same time.
Good, because it means that I'm not at the beginning any more-- I'm going somewhere, making progress. It also means that my aliyah is getting closer. I'm trying to sort things. I know I'm going to have to come back in June for Carly's wedding, so that's when I'm going to send my lift/stuff. Which leads me to the next point: Ship vs. Buy There?
I wrote a note on Facebook and also sent an email to the NBN Singles list-- if anybody reading this (does anybody read this?) has any input, I'd appreciate it:

I'm trying to figure out if it's worth it to buy things like dishes and pots in the States and ship them vs. buying them in Israel. I have to send stuff for sure-- I don't think I'll need a full lift-- but I have to somehow get my clothes, textbooks, and personal items to Israel and they can't levitate themselves...
I already have a lot of kitchen things from college and other people, but not a set of dishes, silverware, and good cookware. I don't know how much companies like Corelle, Farberware, T-Fal, Tramontina, etc. are in Israel and I know they're not expensive/priced very, very well here...
If anyone has any input on this, I would definitely appreciate it.

Back to the middle...it's happening. I don't want to leave in the middle of the year, but I can't keep pushing it off...it's really hard having to have pushed it off this time. Unless I have a really good reason to stay here, I'm going then...Assuming I go-- let's say I go Jan. 4. That's just over 8 months away. That means I have 8 months more with my family the way it is now-- close, calling all the time, going over when I want. It's just-- I want this and it's scary at the same time. I wish I had a crystal ball and could see how things would be 9 months down the road, 10 months-- just to know that I do it and am able to hack it. It's going to suck-- I say it every time. It's going to suck, and Mommy, Daddy, and my sisters won't be there for me to call locally...they'll still be a phone call away, but it will be a 7-hour time difference phone call away.

It's 8 months away and I'm already dreading it. But I know that Israel is right for me.

I said something about an aliyah thing I did, and one of the teachers at my school said, "Wow, you're really serious about this." And I said, "Yeah. I am." The concept of another country, one you weren't born in and your parents aren't from and your grandparents aren't from-- somewhere you never went until you were already a young adult-- being home is something that most people don't get.

more on this later when it's not dinnertime.