By the time he’s older, neither will matter.

Nerdy fact: My kid had an email address – nay, two email addresses – over a year before he had an American social security number.

To file my American taxes, I realized I needed – and didn’t have – Koala’s social security number. You’re actually supposed to just apply for it while getting the Consular Report of Birth and passport sorted out at the American Embassy/Consulate, but of course, that didn’t prove simple for me and social security got lost somewhere.

So to work it out, I went over to the American Consulate in East Jerusalem yesterday. It was actually chik chok, which was shocking but welcome. You need the American parent(s)’ passport, the baby’s passport, and the birth certificate/Consular Report of Birth.

To explain the email address thing – yeah, I figured out a cool nickname and grabbed it. So what? It was 2009!

The funny thing is, though, by the time Koala is of age, neither the social security nor the email address will matter. Things of the past, the stuff mama could sit back in her rocking chair and muse over… Those were the days.

Ancient lizrael history.

Subject: update from the mideast
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2003 09:30:06 -0400
hey friends,

i honestly dont think ive felt this happy in years. im in a place where i belong and im having an incredible time. its so real and unbelievable at the same time. i never understood those ppl who go to israel and never return, but im starting to now… i have one year left at [university], and its gonna fly… im starting to look at grad school here next week. ive spoken to a lot of people, americans, about how theyre experience in making aliyah was. im coming to know better its going to be hard – its not just a dream – last night i had a mini freak out when i realized how much i would miss crazy snow and new york city… seems small, but its a big deal. i thought about leaving my family and u guys and, yeah, itll be really hard – i grew up with many of u from the start, some of u are newer but the thought of not really getting the full chance to get to know each one of u makes me feel empty and careless. but as i was looking out at the entire ‘skyline’ of jerusalem from the top of talpiot, i realized theres no where else to be. for me. for lots of other ppl too, but right now, for me. i get sad thinking about americans and why they dont move here. its a hard thing though. leaving everything. house, car, job, family, shul, youth.steady paycheck and the garantee ull get to work that day. theres lots to get used to, and since im ‘low maintence’ in a way – kal vchomer everyone else… i mean who knew air conditioning was a luxury…

if it was doable, i dont think i would go back to ny. i know its only been 2 weeks for me, and i know i have things to finish back at home, and i know irrational staying here is stupid, so no worries for u. its just, ive completely opened my heart to all these new possibilities surrounding me here, and in life, and i dont think ive ever felt so complete, except for being in love, and again i find myself in love, but here, and like all relationships, this one has its hard, heart-hurting pulls, like the fact that im leaving my immediate family and friends behind, at least physically… it tears at me. i hope u dont think ur not enough for me, or the community some of u have given me in america isnt good enuf – no, i guess ive never felt completely accepted into the ny jewish community, or perhaps i never accepted them totally either, but i did have a great time and i love those of u who made it so much better than it could have been as a baal tshuvah… u know who u are…

well i guess thats all kind of heavy and i wasnt going to write all that actually… but my heart is weighing with excitement, happiness, anxiety and sadness, and i wanted u all to know where i stand.

ive been keeping safe, no worries. i have my very own plan for where to sit on the bus and how to react to being blown up types of problems. became friends with a medic. u know, just in case.

and i could def get used to this tan way of life.

im sure i have lots more to say but im at work (Jerusalem Post) and need to write about crap bec they dont realize how brilliant i am… i should be covering sharon’s trips to the bathroom, not puppet festivals. ha.

i love u all, please have a great summer! im going to be home sooner than we realize… gulp, cant wait…


Is spam cultural?

Isn’t it kind of funny that different cultures – aside from having different foods, traditions and rituals – also have different spam?

Once in a while I glance over my spam folder and usually about 40% of the subject lines are in Hebrew. The Israeli spam is also different because it seems to cover a wider range of topics. There is less mortgages and enlargements and more offerings for homeopathic therapy, trips to India and gym memberships. I think it really says a lot about the people in Israeli society.

Israeli spam email

I don’t think Hebrew spam is a reason to get all teary-eyed and exclaim, “This is the Jewish dream! Spam in our very own ancient, Biblical language!” But it is kinda cool to realize that this fairly new version of our ancient homeland has a complete society with all the good and bad.

On the other hand – Israel has its own spam and doesn’t have normal bank hours/customer service/a decent Internet company? What kind of society is this?