Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yehis grandfather passed away last week (BDE), so I have spent the last week experiencing another first here in Israel... the mourning process. Yehis father and his siblings have been sitting shiva all week at his grandparents house, and we went by every day to visit. Like in the states, people stopped by throughout the day to visit and share their condolences. Every night a hundred + people would show up for the evening service. On the last night they had 300+ people. I know that Yehis grandfather was well respected in the community, but he had been sick for 10+ years. It amazes me that that many people were willing to take the time out of their week to share in the sadness and the memories.

Here in Israel it is also customary to bury the dead as soon as possible. Yehi's grandfather passed away last shabbat in the afternoon, and the funeral was that night at 11pm. It was the first time i had ever been to a funeral at midnight... kind of a creepy experience. But again, I was amazed that only 3 hours after shabbat ended, 100 people were there to celebrate in his memory and share their grief. Israelis really understand the need for community, and will drop everything to help out. We never wanted for food all week... though the heat was a bit stressful.

The week of sitting shiva is over now, so things are starting to head back to being normal... i know it is hard for yehis family, but I am glad I was here to show my support.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

one year

I know I never post anymore... but to be fair we havent spent much time in one place this summer. but I had to break the silence because...

today is our one year aliyah-versary! It has officially been one year since we landed here in Israel. Hard to believe how quickly it has gone, and how much has changed.

Sometimes its still hard to believe that we live in Israel, that we are really making a life here. I still miss my family everyday (many times a day really), but I feel better about my ability to survive as an Israeli citizen. My hebrew is far from fluent, but I can get by on my own in most situations... In the past year I have argued with an Israeli taxi driver, held a job as an israeli citizen, attended multiple events in a week, picked up hitchikers and helped out family sitting shiva.

I am currently reading a book called "Yesterday's Self", which is an analysis of immigrants and the effect immigration has on the individual. I feel strange calling myself an immigrant, but that is what I am. The book questions if it is possible for a person to move countries, yet still retain the same identity they call themselves. While a year ago I would have said yes, I no longer know. To be fair a lot has changed since we moved (motherhood, etc)... but I can also feel myself beginning to respond to daily situations differently than I would have before... mostly to fit into the local culture.

It has been a good year overall. may the next year be just as good! (and may I keep being able to see my family as much as I have this year, if not more)