Shaggy-haired naivete.

When I see this boy’s face, I think of you.

There you are, smiling at me on the news. It reminds me that I miss you.

And then I think about how I’m glad you’re not here anymore.
I hated teaching you about safety seats on the bus. When you were here, I worried, because you’re good but they’re not. I wondered when the immunity would break.
When you left I missed you, I felt a void I hadn’t had time to expect, and now that a kidnapping war has started, I’m just glad you’re not here anymore.
Your love is innocent, consisting of shaggy-haired naivete and smiling blue-gray eyes, and a face that reads, “Love me back.” And I think we all did while you stayed here. All except the few that would have hurt you.

This boy’s face slaps me hard because there you are, staring back at me.

And then all I can think about is how I wish I didn’t see this boy’s face at all.

"If God wills it."

There’s a saying in Jewish: אם ירצה ה
Basically, “If God wills it.”

This saying is probably the most loaded in Judaism when spoken to single Jewish women in the Orthodox community in the phrase “Soon by you.” Brides, married women, and anyone else really will say this to a Jewish single lady at a simcha, in shul, at the Shabbat table; you get the point.

I will loosely translate it as, “Soon by you. You’ll get married soon, if God wills it. And I’m sure He does. No, really, I’m sure there’s a plan for you in Heaven, you’re still young. And even if you weren’t, it would get sorted out eventually. This voice doesn’t mean pity, by the way. No, you won’t be 43 and living with three cats or your mother. Seriously. Is that a gray hair?”

I was rarely told, “Soon by you.” Probably because:
a. The person knew me and could recognize my mean stare.
b. The person could recognize my mean stare.

Well, at the wedding last night, the bride, a friend of my fiance’s, replied to my mazal tovs with, “Soon by you.” And, for the first time, I was cool with it. Because, yes, soon by me; whether I believe in destiny or God or not, I am getting married soon. It’s in the calendar, see?

I’m sure she meant it in the “If God wills it” context, but I chose to accept it as a gracious explanation of the obvious.

Israeli Disheveled Forces?

This is terrible.

It’s the first time, even with last summer’s disengagement, that I feel unprotected by the IDF. That the IDF seems clumsy to me, like they wouldn’t be able to deal with 100s of scenarios that could happen tomorrow.

It wasn’t the missed targets in Gaza that did it, though they helped.

Gilad Shalit was within pre-67 Israeli borders when his tank was attacked, two of his fellow soldiers were killed, and he was kidnapped. A very simple tunnel has been dug for who knows how long, allowing Palestinian infaltrants to sneak in.

How did we miss that? It must go beyond Peretz, as annoying and pain-in-the-ass as he is as defense minister. Are we getting sloppy? Too big and too cumbersome?

Will Olmert reevaluate as he works towards his precious realignment, requiring a tight, strong army?

Trying for caring kalla.

I just came from a kalla class and about to go to a wedding.

I’m torn about what to do about covering my hair and keeping full niddah laws. I guess this is very personal, or supposed to be.

Anyway, I haven’t felt religious in a long time, and religious to me has been in the context of Israel for a very long time, probably since beginning college. So I’ve been decently observant but not very religious I guess.

Maybe it’s something I’ll reconcile with marriage, and maybe not, considering me and the guy are on the same exact page which is a page filled with teetering ‘flip floppingness’.

More than one oleh has said they’ve found it harder to be religious in Israel. It totally make sense. You’re ‘safe’ here. You don’t need to constantly explain to coworkers or professors why you’re randomly taking off on a Tuesday and Wednesday. You get holiday bonuses for your own holidays. You’re pretty spoiled, if you’re only modern Orthodox anyway. There aren’t any challenges. Without challenges, I’m just flowing through.

All of a sudden I’m sorta secular and very confusing.

Playing messenger.

I spent this evening meeting with Israeli shlichim who are about to embark on individual trips across the world to engage diaspora Jewry in their home diaspora communities. I was asked to be there as a recent oleh, to discuss the process from the oleh’s point of view and to discuss/warn of my home town’s characterstics.

It was really enjoyable, especially talking about my point of view with idealistic go-getter shlichim who have yet to become the truly egotistical bombastic shlichim they will probably turn out to be (at least most of them).

But I also got to learn about the shlichut process itself. It’s something that we want to do, no secret there. We probably couldn’t even discuss it with the Jewish Agency for another 4-5 years. It’s definitely in the plans though.

…And where would I love to go promote Jewish culture?

At the moment, Eire

Just another manic Sunday…

Working for an American hi tech company in Israel is sometimes like working in an American hi tech company in America.

Most of the time, though, it’s not.

I majored in English and Political Science in my BA and have experience in journalism and political actvisim. Is that enough to get me a pretty damn good job in marketing for an Internet company on the stock exchange? Is it enough for me to be allowed to get a job I can love, a job that lets me be creative; puts the crayons in my hand and says, (politely) ‘draw’?

In America, absolutely not. In America, I would have to claw my way for years after getting cozy with the fax machine for awhile. In America, I wouldn’t even want a creative marketing job.
In Israel, where my talents are a. speaking English and b. speaking English with an American accent, I can get that far, and have. I think my company has the good sense to combine Israeli creativity with American business sense. Also Israeli laid-backness, friendliness and non-attention to detailness, which most of the time, produces happier and more morally motivated employees.

What does that leave for the American business sense component? All the other stuff involved outside viscious competition and mean bosses. I guess that leaves the nice office. With live plants.

I’m coming out with all this because at work I got to write, produce, co-animate, co-direct and star in a 15 minute animated film for teaching students how to use the internet for their research (coming to computer screens near you shortly).

In America, there is no way I would have gotten all that experience in 1 month.

In America, I also wouldn’t have a fun, non-Dilbertesque, non-Office Space marketing job.