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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Space Bags and Other Great Ideas

I read other bloggers. I started reading them to get an idea of life-in-Israel from the man/woman-on-the-scene and then latched on to other olim-in-process. My thanks today go to Emma S. at Moving On Up (http://emahs.blogspot.com/) for the inspiration on Space Bags. Duh! You'd think it was obvious, but sometimes reading other peoples' aliyah planning helps organize the obvious. So I too need to trip over to Target and find the aforementioned bags--and start loading the linens.

Reading other olim bloggers, both here and there, also eases the sense of omigosh-I'm-doing-this-alone-and-what-if-I-fail? There are other families who have made this migration and made a success of it; there are other families out there, some of whom may end up on the same NBN flight with us this summer, who are stressed out over packing, jobs, schools, and everything else that crowds into the recesses of your mind at 3:00 am and keeps you awake until dawn.

I have to remind myself that this isn't a test. This is a family decision much like moving to Phoenix--we're going because it is the best possible decision for us to make as a Jewish family; while Phoenix is linguistically easier, and I can read the labels on the cans in Safeway much more easily than the labels in Supersol, the Big Picture is that we want our children to live in Israel and be part of the Jewish people's sovereignty. It isn't simple Zionism, either -- as observant Jews, we also believe that we are fulfilling a mitvah in following H"S's commandment to live in and build the land of Israel.

There are two disparate dynamics in being a Jewish minority in the Diaspora: in repressive, antiSemitic societies, Jews live underground on scant tolerance, on the edge of random violence, oppression and government-sanctioned discrimination. In the free societies of the West, even the most tolerant, Jews still struggle to maintain a sense of Jewish identity and purpose in a society where Christmas is a national holiday and you have to put in a vacation request to get Yom Kippur off. Its a struggle to raise children this way: unless you can afford Jewish day school, or be fortunate enough to have a Jewish day school near by, or be fortunate enough to not need the special ed services available ONLY in public schools, your children suffer from a surfeit of Christmas trees and Christian holidays and then fall behind because they are taking official school days off in order to fulfill their religious requirements. My son was criticized this year for 'falling behind' in his team project because the benchmarks were all due during the High Holidays and Sukkot.

We see it where we live. Nationally the Jewish population is estimated to be between 2-3% of the general population, depending on who is doing the counting. Where we live, 10% of the population is Jewish.....and of that 10% which is Jewish, 90% are NOT affiliated with any synagogue or otherwise involved in Jewish life. The slow slide into assimilation is easy here in a tolerant, pluralistic, multi-cultural, humanistic society. These are good qualities for a society, and one which welcomes and tolerates much which would not be tolerated in other societies. But it does make it much more likely that the Jews who live here will not have Jewish grandchildren.


Blogger Jill said...

I really enjoyed reading this post! It really gave great insight and reasoning to creating the life that is best for you and the family. You are a very gifted writer!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 8:35:00 PM GMT+2  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! I don't know how 'gifted' I am but I enjoy words and putting them together, and people seem to enjoy reading them--which is a plus! But I'll take the compliment gladly!

Sunday, March 5, 2006 at 11:45:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Emah S said...

Hey, came to your blog from your comment on Trepenwitz. Didn't know you'd been over to read my blog, much less mentioned me in yours! I'm honored. So, did you try the space bags yet? I have to return my JUMBO bag because it apparantly had a hole in it and I happened to look under the futon yesterday to find a huge puffed up space sac. I had to get hubby to lift the futon to get the thing out! oops. Just a warning.

oh, and I hear you can get an assortement of them at a better price at Costco. Not sure if Sam's club has them.

anyway, nice to 'meet' you. see you around! :)

Monday, March 6, 2006 at 4:14:00 AM GMT+2  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

Hey, thanks! Nice to virtually 'meet you' also! Maybe we'll even be on the same flight!

I've been reading you for a while, along with an assortment of other making-aliyah bloggers or life-in-Israel bloggers to get a feel for the move. I loved the space bag suggestion--like, duh, I didn't think of it earlier! Daughter Yona took advantage of your suggestion and got a supply of space bags from Target---and discovered that the Jumbo is probably more than a single young woman can fit into her suitcases.

I'm wondering if El Al will simply let me take a very large footlocker instead of suitcases...I need to bring linens, some (not much) clothes, my Shabbat candlesticks...sigh...sometimes just thinking about it is overwhelming.

And working for a living definitely gets in the way! This would be sooo much easier if I could just QUIT!! [grin]--sarah

Monday, March 6, 2006 at 6:55:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger Emah S said...

Sarah, I DID see somewhere that it was suggested to fill cardboard boxes for the flight over.....just keep it to the 70lb. max, then you don't have to worry about buying an extra suitcase, or wasting any of your weight requirement on the footlocker. I would check though to see if there is a dimension limit. Also, I'm thinking of getting either a HUGE rubbermaid bin, (that can later be used on the mirpeset to hold outside toys, or whatever) or at least wrapping the boxes in that plastic stuff they do to protect it.
see ya!

Monday, March 6, 2006 at 8:35:00 PM GMT+2  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

Great!! That's wonderful news--I actually looked for footlockers around here and they are rare, heavy and expensive. I like the 70 lb reinforced box idea much better!

Tuesday, March 7, 2006 at 5:22:00 AM GMT+2  

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