Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When I Grow Up

or at least get married and have kids...not that that's in the immediate future. I'd like a guy first. Anyway.

There's a blog that I found called A Soldier's Mother written by a woman who made aliyah about 16 years ago. She knew then that her sons, at least, would serve in the army.

I'm not there yet, and please G-d, there will be peace before then and my children won't have to serve because there won't be a need for an IDF. But realistically, there probably won't be peace and there will be a need.

Is it fair for me to do that to them? Is it fair for me to move to Israel, knowing full well that I intend to raise my family there, and that my children will be going to serve in the IDF and protect and defend Israel and Jews all over with a chance that, G-d forbid, they will get injured or killed? Is it fair to impose that on them? It's my choice to I'm in the US, a country that has a volunteer army (generalize it to mean any branch of the armed forces). If I stay here, my children will not be drafted; if they want to join the army , it will be their choice; it will not be forced on them, and no one will think them any worse of them or look down on them if they don't. But in Israel it's not really something that they will have a choice about. Yes, they will somehow be able to get an exemption if they really want to...but I'm not going to encourage it. Is that fair?

And on another somewhat related note, is it fair of me to leave my parents and family to move to Israel? Not like my mom doesn't worry here, but there she's more worried, more nervous. Is it fair to make my mom worry more? This is the part that really sucks...leaving family and worrying about them. Forget them worrying about me, I'm worried about them. What's Lis going to do? Yeah, she says she'll just have to learn to manage on her own, but it's going to be harder. It's little things I do for her, like making her food when she's running late or her laundry when I do mine even though it's more or letting her vent or running small errands...just little things.
And my mom. I'm really worried about her. Not that she's not worried about me, but as much as she's worried about me, I worry about her too. I help her a lot with things like schlepping and running up and down to get things or bring things and helping her with the computer, switching laundrys...just things that don't seem so big, but help her. My dad I'm not as worried about, but still. I help him with things like fixing things around the house. He'll manage-- they all will...but it doesn't make me feel any better.
I'm not the savior of the house-- by no means do I think I am. But I am home a lot, and am capable of doing things so I do.

Man, this sucks.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"...feelin' groovy..."

Not really. But there's a many of my posts...

Like any good child of the 80's, I had parents who raised me and my sisters on their music in the car. That consisted of a lot of tapes (made from of records, because cars came with tape/cassette players and not record players) and the Oldies station-- 101.1 CBS FM (New York...I can't read/write/think that without hearing the tune in my head). " My mom likes Simon and Garfunkel (see their official website or the Wikipedia page for more info on them). So you would think that I would know their songs and recognize them when they, you know, were played on the radio and stuff.

Close...I knew their songs-- except I knew them in Hebrew. Do you understand how confusing it is to learn a song in Hebrew, think that that's the song-- it's in Hebrew, not English-- and then hear it on the radio IN ENGLISH?! My little brain was going"wtf?" (except not in those words because I didn't know them yet, and "wtf" wasn't an expression then). It took me a while to understand the concept of "covers." So, yes, I learned Simon and Garfunkel songs in Hebrew before I learned them in English.

Now why is this relevant?-- or in Hebrew-- ?איך זה רלוונטי-- "aych zeh relevanti?" Because I spent Shabbat reading words like:

(just like that-- no nekudot (vowels) the dots and lines under the letters, which make it easier to read)

Normally it's not so bad trying to read Hebrew. But here's the catch (and there's always a catch, especially when dealing with Israel or anything related)-- these words? ENGLISH! Watch:
טמפורטורה - tem-pu-ra-tura - temperature
סימפטומים - seemp-to-meem - symptoms
רלוונטים - reh-la-vahn-teem - relevant (plural)
דפורמציות - de-for-ma-tzee-yot - deformities
קונטרקטורות - con-trac-tu-roht - contractures

Do you see anything the same about these words in Hebrew and English? It's a hell of a lot harder trying to read English in Hebrew than it is trying to read Hebrew in Hebrew (on the plus side, I'm learning to type in Hebrew). And that my friends throws your brain off, much like trying to understand that the songs you learned in Hebrew are American songs, and makes your brain hurt.

Friday, May 22, 2009

And the step after Approval is...go back and re-submit stuff!

The pictures I gave in were blurry...well...I'm sorry...I didn't think they were...

So now I have to go get them redone. Rite-Aid printed one of them with a bright spot on my eyebrow, so I have to get them redone. Man!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I feel like I should be typing this blog in Hebrew, because it's out on the Internet and very, very public...which means anyone, including my coworkers and supervisor(s?-- כן, כולל ה---בלייפפפפפפ(how do you bleep something out in Hebrew?)), can read it.

I sort of worry about that-- as in someone's going to go, "So I heard you have a blog and I checked it out...aliyah (pronounced like the dead singer)? What is that?" And I'm going to go, "Shit." Like happened today, sort of. My on-site supervisor wanted to speak to me and I thought, "Shit, someone said something to her about me moving to Israel." No, she wanted to speak to me about something else.

But really, how do you explain aliyah to people who have never even heard of it? Everything I think of just sounds falls short.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Next step-- approval!

You thought I was going to say I got approved for, not quite.
I did, however, get my documents checked by Shai (the Jewish Agency shaliach), gave in my financial affidavit and passport pictures (printed earlier today) to NBN-- see this entry for a bit on that; I decided to practice being Israeli and ignore what they said. Worked out nicely-- now let's see if they don't lose the documents...
I should hear back about approval and Etzion after the summer, but Shai doesn't think there will be a problem (Hi, Murphy, because I said something. I should go back and erase that and bite my tongue. But I'm not-- which may come back to bite me in the tooseek (thank you Benji Lovitt of "What War Zone"-- see my oleh blog links-- for the spelling. Not that he knows who I am, but I found his blog and think that spelling is great. Benji, if you would like to link to my blog, feel free))...but-- back to the mother of all Israeli phrases-- "יהיה בסדר"-- "y'hiyeh b'seder-- "it'll be ok/fine." (I'm just full of cliches tonight, aren't I? And parentheses.)

But back to the meeting. I met with Robin Berman, who works in the employment dept. of NBN. Really, I don't think I need to have any more "pre-aliyah meetings" unless it's for a very specific purpose, like this was. This one was to get my documents checked. I don't need employment meetings, unless it deals with OT specifically. I don't need "community meetings" because I know where I'm going to start out and have some ideas-- and I'll go away for Shabbatot, so I'll see what communities I like. I know that the large populations of singles are in Jerusalem (Anglos in Katamon, Rechavia, German Colony, etc.) and around Bar Ilan (Givat Shmuel-ish area). I know that I want to live up North eventually, but there aren't really singles up there. Which limits my dating pool...If there's the word "informational" in the meeting-- odds are I don't need it. I have the information, I know where to find the stuff I don't have, and I know how to use my email to email people questions. I'm really good at that.

If I haven't heard back by September, I'll email NBN and Shai. Because really, that's only 4 months. I mean, it's Israel and I could do this 4 weeks before and no one would say boo-- Shai goes, "This is for the summer?" ...which is in about 6 was funny when Robin went upstairs to get Shai. I had my meeting with Robin-- she gave me a few tips about employment and then went to check about my affidavit and if someone could come look at my documents. So Shai comes in and goes, "Hey! How are you?" Robin goes, "You know each other?" It was a "you-had-to-be there" moment, I think.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here goes nothing

Meetings with NBN and a shaliach tomorrow...wish me luck.
I have 5 copies of everything, except passport photos...those I have to print.

I went to RiteAid today to get them done. They print. There's a bright orange spot on one of my eyebrows...I didn't have time to wait for them to redo them, so I'm going to have to get them redone on Sunday, I'll find another RiteAid in the city. But in the meantime, NBN still wants 3 passport photos. So I'm going to print up a page-- well, 2 pages. Passport photos are standardly 2"x2". NBN's site says 35 mm wide x 45 mm high with the face being 25 mm wide and 35 mm high. So I have 3 photo pages to make:
-one with 2x2 photos
-one with the picture 35 mm wide x 45 mm high without the face being 25 mm wide and 35 mm high
-one with the picture 35 mm wide x 45 mm high without the face being 25 mm wide and 35 mm high

I think I get 16 photos on a page...makes 48 photos. Problem with printing one whole page at a time is cutting it. Ew. And, NONE OF THE PRINTERS THAT I TRIED WORK! AND I TRIED THREE OF THEM! THREE! THREE! (and once more for good luck-- three!)

Here's hoping I can print them tomorrow in school. If not, I is screwed. And that is bad.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

!במירון רבי שמעון, אדוננו בר יוחאי

Lag BaOmer! Yay!
In Israel it means medurot (bonfires) and the whole freaking country smelling like smoke. But it's fun. מדורות (bonfires), על האש (BBQs), chilling. It looks like the whole country is going up in flames, there are so many fires. I spent last Lag BaOmer at the Kaufmans; they organized a מנגל and everyone brought food (there was far too much), we played Banagrams, Elinor and Yehuda played the cello, Arie made THE tea, and we roasted marshmallows. And there were bonfires ALL OVER.

English-date wise, it was my birthday! Well, now it's still May 11 in the States, but in Israel it's already May 12. Eden and I slept over by Hannah's the night before, we broke out the cookies early, I opened on of my cards, had an interesting texting conversation with Shloime because I couldn't sleep, and then the next morning Hannah, Eden, and I went to Bayit Vagan for shlav bet. More about that tomorrow.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Just one small step"

All right, so maybe that song has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but the words, out of the song's context, fit nicely. In the song's context? Not at seems to be about suicide.

But really, the song has nothing to do with this post. The point of this post is that I'm taking the next step in my aliyah-- having my interviews and getting all my papers looked at and whatnot. I have those meetings on Wednesday. It's going to be NBN and the Sochnut together.

Perle told me to make sure that my Jewish letter gets signed or certified or something because Misrad Hapnim didn't believe that there was a Beit Din of France...seriously. SERIOUSLY?! Seriously. Really. Not joking. Not telling an untruth. A falsehood. Etc. I'm overtired.

That is this week's aliyah bit. I'll let you know how it goes once it's gone.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

shwaya, shwaya...

הגשתי את (כמעט) הכל...חסר לי התמונות דרכון ואת הטופס הכספי האורגינלי (שלחתי צילום)-- קבלו את המכתב מהבן-דוד שלי שאני יהודיה... יש לי פגישה ב13 במאי עם נציגים מנפש בנפש והסוכנות-- אבל אני לא יודעת מה קורה עם הפרוצס-- מתי אני אדע אם התקבלתי או אם אני מקבלת קיצבה מנב"נ...

אבל טוב-- אני יכלה להגיד, בכל האמת, שאני עדיין לא התקבלתי לעליה או לאולפן ואין לי תאריך לטיסה. יש לי חודש לעליה-- אבל לא תאריך.


.Can't hand-deliver the affidavit and the photos because NBN NY "does not have reception for the public"-- I just want to drop off an envelope, I'm not planning on sitting down and having a cup of coffee...and apparently can't bring them to my meeting?
I just think it's ridiculous to have to MAIL something that I can easily drop off-- it's not like the office is that big...Mailing with tracking...gotcha...
I really just want to send in my proof if Judaism letter and then I can get things moving. It's a good thing I'm not going in the summer in the end, because at this rate I won't be approved.
That being said, I realize that I'll have no clue when I'm going until at least October-- and probably at least until after the I can make all the plans I want, I'm not actually going to know when the NBN flights are until...who knows when? Good and bad.
On the upside, I can honestly say that I really don'y know when I'm going...not have I gotten accepted yet...nor do I know if I'll get into, I know I'm making aliyah. Fantastic.