Monday, November 20, 2006

Only in Israel - The Roundup

For my one year blogiversary I treated myself to one of my favorite things - "only in Israel" stories. Not only do I enjoy reading them, but even though not all of them are positive, in general they give me chizuk (strength) for the inevitable times when living in Israel is not a bed of roses.

I am presenting them in no particular order, just as I received them.

First to respond was Yaakov at Aliyahblog. First of all, the entire blog is a great resource for anyone who has made aliyah. He has a special section for just these kind of stories. Here are a few favorites.

This is not exactly a "blue light special" (remember Kmart?) but it is a great find in the supermarket just the same. This post shows that lessons in good middot (character traits) can be found in the most unlikely places. Trusting other Jews can be felt clearly in this great story.

Batya tells of a very beautiful way to tell when winter is here.

Purpleparrot has a "rated R" only in Israel story, where she tells about her encounter with a creep and the nice man who helped her get over it.

Ezzie shares with us two of his stories - and in both he takes off his kipa.

Bec tells us about how hachnassat orchim (hospitality) helped her decide to come back to Israel.

A past visit to Israel inspires Soccerdad's story about how he was taken for a ride.

MominIsrael tells about her encounter with a person with the classic Israeli "rosh katan" (literally small head - someone who can't think for themselves).

Rafi from LifeinIsrael has an interesting story about what the hospital guard was really worried about, and another about what is not allowed to be made in Israel.

Aliyah06 at BakaDiary has a disturbing story about reserved seats in shul - I know that this doesn't happen only in Israel, but unfortunately sometimes does. (Move to a yishuv - we don't treat people like that where we live!)

EmahS has some nice short stories, including a funny shopping experience.

Esseragaroth describes his unusual footwear problems, and some of the stereotypes that come along with it.

Last but not least, I received this only in Israel story in an email from someone who calls himself SabbaShimon, which only proves that, in Israel at least, rules are made to be broken:

"This could only've happened in Israel:
At the time I was inducted into Tsahal (Nov. '82) Raful had instigated a new rule-- due to communication problems in Lebanon, all new immigrants, regardless of their Hebrew skills, would henceforth be required to do a three month stint at a camp in Haifa, combining military "conditioning" with Hebrew learning. After the first three weeks I could see that this wasn't going to work for me, so I decided to see what I could do to get out and join the tank basic training that I had wanted from the start. Long story short, I hitchhiked on a Friday to Afula instead of home to Merom Golan, spent the night there, and on Shabbat morning hitched a ride to Raful's moshav. I ended up sharing breakfast with him, his wife, and daughter, in all spending about two hours in his home, all the while explaining to him why it would be more beneficial to my Hebrew if I were able to be in a group of Israelis at basic training, rather than a bunch of immigrants from all over, who, as soon as they would step out of the classroom would revert to their mother tongue amongst each other. He made no promises (it was his new rule, after all). After continuing on to the kibbutz for Saturday night, I returned to camp in Haifa early Sunday morning to find the whole camp on it's toes, having received a hand written note from the chief-of-staff to immediately send one private Shimon Russo to the tank corps' basic training that had just commenced at Nitzanim. Later I learned that his office sent a note stating that that would be the first and last time that the camp in Haifa (Stella Maris)would ever allow that to happen.Can you imagine even being able to get close to the Chief-of-Staff in America, let alone being invited in for breakfast, and then him agreeing to a one-of in contradiction to his own orders? There is much more to this story, but that's it in a nutshell."

Chodesh Tov everybody!


Blogger bec said...

great roundup & happy blogaversary!!!!

4:41 AM, November 21, 2006  
Blogger Esser Agaroth said...


Happy Blogaversary!

10:16 AM, November 21, 2006  
Blogger Batya said...

I love it!
Thanks for the link!

10:29 AM, November 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

happy blogaversary and may you (and your readers enjoy many more.
i'm really looking forward to reading all of these stories. the one about raful gave me an appetite.

2:47 PM, November 21, 2006  
Blogger aliyah06 said...

Happy Blogaversary! Keep up the excellent work! You're stuff is great-- you are one of two bloggers on my very short Must Read Daily list.

5:19 PM, November 21, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

bec - thank you, when is yours?

ben-yehuda - thank you too!

batya - glad you enjoyed

jerusalem joe - I thought they were all good

aliyah06 - wow, only two, and I am one of them? (blushing)

5:56 PM, November 21, 2006  
Blogger JJ said...

Great idea, WBM- and Happy 1st!

I wanted to send something in but it seems I've used up all my "only in Israel" stories (for now) on my own blog- I couldn't think of anything! But I will enjoy reading the ones you posted :-)

7:55 PM, November 21, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

rr - I am sure you will think of something soon - that is the way it always happens...

7:07 AM, November 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OU Kashrut ALERT!

Oops, the OU is at it again. Once again they certified an unfit item as Kosher, this time its Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

To let the OU know how you feel about this latest Kashrut fiasco you can contact them at the eMail addresses and phone numbers below.

OU Contacts
Convention Information contact:
Frank Buchweitz
(212) 613-8188

Convertion Registration contact:
Miriam Ganz
(212) 613-8198

IPA Washington
(202) 513-6484 Fax: (202) 289-8936

(212) 613-8124 Fax: (212) 564-9058
E-mail: ipa@ou.org

(02) 5667787 Fax: (02) 5617432
Outrage Against OU Decision to Honor Ehud Olmert
12:17 Nov 21, '06 / 30 Cheshvan 5767

( Protesters, including religious Jewish immigrants from North America who were evicted from their homes during the Disengagement and wounded by police brutality at Amona, will protest the Orthodox Union’s decision to honor Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at their annual convention in Jerusalem.

A protest rally under the banner "Hey OU - Olmert isn't kosher" will take place outside the convention. “I find it hard to comprehend why a Torah organization would want to invite a person who has practically declared war on the National Religious camp in Israel,” protester Steve Schwartz wrote to the organization. “Your organization's actions are a slap in the face to your fellow religious Jews in Israel.”

The protest will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday 22 November outside Jerusalem’s Renaissance Hotel during the time Olmert is scheduled to address members of the OU.

For information call (052) 842-1203

2:27 PM, November 22, 2006  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Thank you for including mine, WBM. I know it isn't easy reading and I appreciate you linking to it. Great and diverse round up, all in all. Well done and happy blog-iversary! My 2 years is next week.

(Funny, I didn't get this "alert" to *my* blog ;-) )

4:23 PM, November 22, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

tafka - as anyone who lives here knows, there is good and bad things about this place, but thankfully the good usually outweighs the bad...(sort of like families)

7:53 AM, November 23, 2006  
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