Monday, September 13, 2010

Life Is Just Richer Here

A few days ago, I was walking toward my second bus stop of the morning and caught sight of the first sukkah I've ever seen in Israel.  I felt so happy, I had to stop and take a picture.



Then this morning, walking to my 6:45 AM bus, I saw two boys on swings near my home and was startled by the view.


When kids swing for a few minutes before school in a playground in Israel, it's possible to see Jerusalem in the distance.  And it occurred to me that there are dozens of other small pleasures of daily life and ways in which my life is so much richer here.


  • Feeling closer to Hashem.
  • Knowing I've corrected a 2000 year-old punishment by coming to live here.
  • Having a stranger on the street smile and ask how I'm doing in Hebrew and being able to answer her in Hebrew.
  • Feeling happy almost all the time.
  • Seeing neighbors walking home from shul while I wait for my 6:45 AM bus.
  • Making progress in ulpan, as evidenced by a willingness to talk to the cell phone representative in Hebrew.
  • Giggles from our young adult daughters who share a common history, language, and a, ahem... cozy living space.
  • Seeing Har Habayit (The Temple Mount) from the bus every morning.
  • Beginning to think in shekalim.  
  • Riding buses and feeling like a part of Israeli society.
  • Seeing familiar faces on the bus.
  • Knowing bus routes and times.
  • Having a routine.
  • Having people around who automatically understand me because we are on the same path.
  • Witnessing kibbutz galuyot (the in-gathering of the exiles) every day by having classmates from 11 different countries (Azerbaijan, Chile, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, the US and Tashkent) in my ulpan class.
  • Coaching and encouraging other families who are still a few steps earlier on the path Home.
  • Seeing my younger daughter taking chances and becoming a fiercely independent traveler unbelievably quickly.
  • Reading newspaper articles about Israel with the perspective of a resident, no longer an outsider.
  • Having the earliest bedtime in the house and, not a small thing for a night owl like me, getting up earlier than everyone else.
  • Quickly adjusting to a week that begins on Sunday.
  • Buying soda bottles that say חג שמח (Chag Sameach - happy holiday)
  • Learning which Israeli brands we prefer and being less and less overwhelmed at the grocery store.
  • Walking the streets of Jerusalem listening to the Jerusalem songs play list on my iPod.
  • Davening on the bus in the morning.
  • Being amazed by bilingual kids who switch back and forth effortlessly.
  • Going to the airport again and again to greet more family and friends who are coming Home.
  • Being the home base for family and friends passing through Israel.
  • And  realizing, as I go off to ulpan, our 10th grader goes off to school, our older daughter goes to her Sherut Leumi (national service) placement and my husband prepares for a class he'll soon be teaching, that we are actually LIVING here. 
Life is just richer here.  And if I would but take a moment to let it in, I can feel it almost every moment of the day.  I thank Gd every day that we got here in time.

6 comments:

Barbara R. said...

Now I am waiting to read that you bought Israeli q-tips!! Truth be told, I do not like them...but hey...I live in Israel so I am gonna use ISRAELI q-tips and support my country!!

bataliyah said...

Barbara R,

Ha! I know just what you mean. I brought Q-tips with me. In fact, I think I brought a lifetime supply! I'm hoping it won't compromise Israel's economy too much :-)

rutimizrachi said...

Huge sigh... Nothing else need be said. You did it all.

Sheyna Ariel said...

Hashem has brochos waiting for us at every corner, we just have to open our to see them. Thank for allowing us to view and share in brochos with you :)

Minnesota Mamaleh said...

this was heart-warming and smile-inducing! thank you for a lovely read and i adored the photos as well!

Lady-Light said...

Lovely. When did you make Aliyah? It's so interesting to read about missing American products and getting used to Israeli ones. When we lived in Israel (1977-81), there was not much at all; now, it's just like the States! I can't wait to get back (my children preceded me!)