Home And Away: An American In Israel

10/04/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Home and Away: An American In Israel

There is nothing like waking up to the siren song of the shofar to remind me that I’m not in Chicago any more.

Which is another way of saying, if I had forgotten that I had up and moved to Jerusalem, suddenly, I remembered.

It could have something to do with the fact that my bedroom is so close to a synagogue that when they blew the shofar during morning minyan every day this month of Elul, I felt like my bed had catapulted out the window and flown straight into the middle of the sanctuary, hovering mid-air near the bima.

08/30/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Home and Away: An American In Israel

‘Did you know that people in Israel are out protesting because only a few families control the entire country?” asked someone who shall remain nameless.

Let’s just say, she’s related to me.

“Oh, she just read the Ethan Bronner article in The New York Times, so suddenly she’s discovered the protests in Israel,” said my girlfriend knowingly. Her relatives back home in America pull similar stunts.

08/03/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Home and Away: An American In Israel

I was lost. 

Again.

If you want to know the truth, I’ve spent most of my life lost, and I’m not being profound.

Which explains why I got completely turned around somewhere in Afula.

Of course, I blamed the map. Where was that sneaky little Route 71 that the map had so magnanimously promised? And why, instead, was I stuck at a fork in the road with two other choices that eluded me?

Naturally, I turned to the gentleman in the car next to me for help.

06/28/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Home and Away: An American In Israel

What is sickness? asks the Etrog Man.

Unhappiness. Worries. Pressure.

That’s what ails us in the 21st century.

But the Etrog Man, whose real name is Uzi-Eli, wants to counteract all of that.

“I want people to live healthier lives,” he tells me. “I want to help people from the inside out.”

05/31/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Home and Away: An American In Israel

All I wanted was a blessing from the rabbi so that I would finally find my husband.

But it wasn’t that simple. Nothing in Israel ever is.

Because to get to the rabbi, you had to go through his assistant, and by “going through” his assistant I mean, you had to repeatedly call some man who kept telling you to call back in an hour.

And by you, I mean me.

But this is a story about the Hebrew language. Or more specifically, about being a 30-something American who relocates later in life to the land of the Hebrew speakers.

05/03/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Home and Away: An American In Israel

There I was on a kibbutz nestled in the lush greenery of the Galilee and all I could think about was food.

Maybe it’s because my idea of a good time is to go to a raw food spa. And when I say “raw food SPA” what I mean is, I was starving, people. Seriously.
I was so hungry, I was almost in tears.

I was so hungry that I was wasting away, on account of something dreadful called a “juice fast.”

“And you paid top shekel to starve to death?” asked my sympathetic friends.