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Monday, June 04, 2007

A letter from Zahava

[My lovely wife happened to CC me on an email she sent out today to some of our friends and family.  Given the negativity of my post this morning, I decided it was worth sharing her little ray of sunshine here]

Dear Family and Friends,

As you know, David, Ari, Gili and I made Aliyah with Nefesh B'Nefesh in July 2003 [Ed note: our 3-and-a-half year old, Yonah, is an Israeli product made from imported materials].

As the Torah portion (parsha) this coming Shabbat (Shelach) recalls the sin of the 12 spies who gave a bad/inaccurate report of the land, I've decided to participate in a special Nefesh b’Nefesh project intended to try to “undo” the damage done by those biblical [and modern] spies!

David, the kids and I consider ourselves quite lucky in that we had the universal support of our friends and family regarding our Aliyah. 

The goal of this NBN project is to share with you 12 things that are special about living in Israel.

In no particular order:

  1. The incredible feeling of being Home and belonging!
  2. Being surrounded by our history — Israel’s great love affair with archeology makes the connection to our ancestors tangible!
  3. Believe it or not, the “yenta” factor! I LOVE that all the Bubbies will yell at me if they think Yonah is over or under dressed! I love that people feel so connected that they are not shy about expressing their concern!
  4. Hearing “Shabbat Shalom” from every possible sector of society (even some Arabs!) on Fridays when “out and about”
  5. One day of Yom Tov
  6. All Jewish holidays are national holidays (no more saving up vacation days!)
  7. Fresh fruits and veggies that have actually ripened on the vine, are aromatic and taste like they smell! (gotta love that 6-hour maximum transport!)
  8. Being able to do trumah and ma'aser (tithing) on fruits and veggies you grow yourself — again, the connection to our past and our heritage in a very real and meaningful way!
  9. A FANTASTIC national park system — makes being outdoors fun and easy.
  10. No insanely expensive day-school tuition!
  11. A better work/life balance — from a sociological sense, society seems to be as geared toward family time and life-cycle events (even the “little” ones — like when your kids receive their first siddur in school, or they have a school play, etc.) as it is towards work.  Taking time off for these things is understood/expected. In fact, NOT participating in family events- large and small - is viewed as being out-of-sync... not the other way around.
  12. GREAT place to raise kids! Kids here are treated like national treasures! (see numbers 3 and 11!)   

Feel free to be in touch with me any time if you'd like to hear more about my personal perspective of life in Israel.  [Ed note: Same goes for me.  also, any of you bloggers out there can consider this a (rare) meme and adopt it to your sites.]

If you'd like to know more about the viability of living in Israel, visit the Nefesh B'Nefesh's web site, and if you have ever considered even the remote possibility of aliyah, take a virtual pilot trip while you're there.

Please feel free to forward this message a link to this post to anyone who loves Israel.

Love,

Zahava

P.S. A special thanks to Nefesh B’Nefesh for reminding us how lucky we are to have realized our dream of living here!

Posted by David Bogner on June 4, 2007 | Permalink

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Great job!

Kol hakavod for taking time out of your busy schedule for such an important (and hopefully influential) post/mesasge.

Posted by: tnspr569 | Jun 4, 2007 1:09:19 PM

Zehava,

First, you seem a lot happier than Trep.

Second, as someone whose Aliyah was official just two weeks ago, I can say that #1 on your list was sufficient for me (although 2-12 are good as well).

Great post.

Posted by: dfb1968 | Jun 4, 2007 3:37:07 PM

Wonderful post. Makes me want to make our aliyah happen that much quicker!

Posted by: orieyenta | Jun 4, 2007 4:35:01 PM

Thanks for posting that, David, and an even bigger thanks to Zahava for writing it. I can heartily second those feelings still today after making aliyah in 1980, even though I still refer to myself as an "import" (Totzeret Chootz). ;-)

And to dfb1968, welcome home!

Posted by: jennifer | Jun 4, 2007 4:42:25 PM

dfb1968: In all fairness, I am more of an ostrich than Trep! Regarding politics and "matzav" - I like to keep my head in the sand!

I second Jennifer's "welcome home!"

orieyenta: The only regret I have regarding Aliyah is not having done it sooner! :-)

jennifer: I hope that in another 20-plus years I won't have gotten over the awe of living here -- it is too special a feeling. We were at the hashpa'ah of a chayal boded with whom we are friendly (induction ceremony for a lone soldier, for non-Hebrew speakers) a few weeks ago (2 days before Shavuot. At the closing of the tekes (ceremony) the master of arms wished the crowd a "chag sameach" (happy holiday) which promptly moved me to tears....

Posted by: zahava | Jun 4, 2007 4:54:05 PM

Beautiful post! Always great to be reminded why I should make aliyah. Thanks, Zahava!

Posted by: SaraK | Jun 4, 2007 5:51:44 PM

That was a great letter.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 4, 2007 5:57:52 PM

love #3.
:)

Posted by: weese | Jun 4, 2007 7:16:46 PM

I'm bookmarking your letter for the days when all the "baggage" associated with our aliyah leaves me wondering "what was I thinking when I agreed to this!" GW, we'll see you at the end of August!

Posted by: Rachel | Jun 4, 2007 9:57:54 PM

I've posted mine online here:
http://amechad.blogspot.com/2007/06/undoing-damage-of-spies.html

Let's just say that "safety" is one of my 12!

Might I add that "excellent wine" is another!

Posted by: amechad | Jun 4, 2007 11:07:00 PM

More nasty crap on the streets of San Francisco tomorrow, in case anyone is interested.

[Sorry David, opportunistically using your blog as a bulletin board - because you have tons of readers.]

Posted by: Back of the Hill | Jun 5, 2007 4:51:05 AM

What an enjoyable post :)

Posted by: Seattle | Jun 5, 2007 5:34:18 AM

Writing obviously runs in the family!

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Jun 5, 2007 2:41:10 PM

That was charming, thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Annie | Jun 5, 2007 5:41:37 PM

Beautifully said. David, thanks for sharing Zahava's words.
After reading this post, I went on the NbN site and watched one of the videos. Needless to say, I was bawling like a baby afterwards. It just sweeps you up and convinces you that aliyah is the right thing to do. It is not in our immediate future, but perhaps is meant to be at a later date.

Posted by: Pearl | Jun 5, 2007 6:07:36 PM

Hi David and Zehava,

I'm very happy that despite the trying stuff in life, the two of you (David!) can still see the half-full part of the cup of life!

May more such blessings be yours!

Trying to stay on the sunny side myself...

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak | Jun 5, 2007 6:31:26 PM

Since you were kind enough to include me in your blogroll, would you mind altering the link as I have now moved to :
http://ilanadavita.wordpress.com/ ?

Thanks.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Jun 5, 2007 9:58:28 PM

Yo, Trep. It must be refreshing, after all these years, to know that you got yourself quite a catch. You are a very lucky man, but you don't need me to tell you that. That was a lovely letter.

Posted by: Erica | Jun 6, 2007 1:14:16 AM

I've gotten a couple of these from friends who have made aliyah, and there are at least 3 that are exactly the same in each person's list.

It's making me wish our aliyah date was sooner than next summer...

Posted by: projgen | Jun 6, 2007 5:33:29 AM

It is wonderful that Israel is literally rediscovering its history in archeological digs, but when you unearth the Ark of the Covenant (and you will), can any museum hold it?

Posted by: Bob | Jun 6, 2007 6:07:24 AM

I've come out of hiding. Inspired by Zahava's post, I posted my own list here:

http://chayyeisarah.blogspot.com/2007/06/back-from-dead-shes-alive-shes-alive.html

Cheers!

Posted by: Sarah | Jun 6, 2007 11:42:20 AM

Thanks, Zahava. Every little bit helps. Especially now that the wait until our aliyah feels like the last month of pregnancy. (You know: the last month of pregnancy is three months long.) We are down to between four and six months... And it is the longest half-year of my life. Ah, well. Baruch Hashem... Anything worth having is worth waiting 17 years for...

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Jun 8, 2007 3:34:19 PM

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