Olim chadashim (new immigrants) are sometimes called olim cholim (sick immigrants) or, as I heard recently, olim chalashim (weak, sickly immigrants) (trust me, it's funny in Yiddish) because of our tendency to get ill upon arrival in Israel, both from the stress of making the move and from the new germs that greet us here.
We just passed our 5-month "aliyahversary" and I thought I had escaped the curse of new immigrants because I have been well and healthy, thank Gd, all this time.
But this past week, during the Chanukah vacation, I was felled by a foreign viral intruder that took over my body and stole much of my Chanukah vacation. There were so many fun things planned, we actually had to write out a schedule to make sure we didn't double book ourselves. Then we ended up cancelling a whole bunch of them so I could zone out on Nyquil (which beats what I spent Tuesday night doing, but I'll spare you the gory details.)
Nevertheless, we did get to do some fun stuff before and after I took to my bed fulltime.
|Ariella enjoying (the first of I don't want to say how many) sufganiot which are special, hole-free, donut-like Chanukah pastries sold all over Israel starting, I think, in September.|
|Our "adopted son" Avi eating an entirely different, but still yummy, sufgania. Notice the difference in the icing :-)|
|In Baltimore, homemade latkes were provided each year by the world-famous Latke King, Dr. Kevin Ferentz. Here in the Holy Land, we were on our own. I wasn't feeling up to it, but Ariella got Elan to grate some potatoes.|
|Ariella making latkes! An excellent first attempt with a lot of potential for the future.|
|Chabad puts hundreds of these giant outdoor Chanukiot all over Israel. I saw lots of outdoor ones, but not a single one with little orange bulbs.|
|Did I mention the mounds of potatoes that were on sale really, really cheap? We bought waaay too many...|
|Chanukah greetings were everywhere.|
|Chanukiot were also everywhere, even in the grocery store.|
|It took me a dozen attempts to get a shot of these outdoor lights in the shape of chanukiot that were all over the streets of Jerusalem.|
|This was one of my favorite outdoor chanukiot, tucked in under a neighbor's mailbox.|
|These are our candles on the fifth night, as viewed from outdoors.|
|Before I took to my sick bed, we got to see a few films at the Jewish Film Festival at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. Very cosmopolitan.|
|The Shabbat after Chanukah, when I was feeling a little better, we managed to squeeze in a few days in the Golan. This giant sign in the middle of Chispin means "Peace with the Golan."|
|Lazy white cows in the fields of the Golan. At least I think that's what they are. I was raised in New York, so what do you want from me?|
|I love seeing Israeli flags waving in the middle of open fields. There is SO MUCH room for all the Jews in the world to come and join us here!!|
|This is SO Israel! Benches with Biblical verses. This one says, "I saw that there is nothing better for man than to be happy in what he's doing for that is his portion." (Kohelet 3:22)|
|"...and I will bring them and they will dwell within Jerusalem. They will be a people unto Me..." (Zechariah 8:8)|
|Our last night's candles.|
This was a peek into our first Chanukah in Israel. Next year, may I be blessed to celebrate all 8 days in good health with my family and all of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael.