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aliyah rites religiousness

Getting your feet (ritually) wet: An American-Israeli’s mikvah story

Perhaps, for a taharat-mishpacha-keeping American-Israeli olah (female American immigrant to Israel who keeps laws of family purity), nothing else can quite epitomize the cultural differences of here and there better than… the mikvah. Because I got married in Israel, my mikva knowledge and experiences have been molded here. The closest I got in the States before […]

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koala update new york

Bebe Does America.

In short, it was a time of reflection for Bebe. Considering the murky waters of the Staten Island beach. Considering her first NYC subway ride. Considering the thousands of names at the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero. Considering the shortest flight she’s ever taken. Considering the very different waters of the marina in West Palm […]

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aliyah rites lizrael update new york

Lizrael Update: Insane mom you hate on flights edition.

Bulletin:  I’m leaving tonight to New York, with both my kids, alone. That’s one adult to two kids. Or, one adult to an infant and a terrible two. So if you’re on my flight, sucks for you. Sucks worse for me. Like I told my mom, who I’m sure is containing all the giddy-with-pleasure as […]

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new york

Matzah in nature.

I love how you can spend a Passover day in Central Park and leave a matzah trail for all the other ‘Yids’ on vacation: Like charedis at a nature preserve, matzah bits settled on leaves and rocks is slightly out of place.

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new york what a country

Welcome to eretz.

Monday, the day I left New York, I met a friend in the city to hang for a bit; he just moved to New York from Tel Aviv so his perspective is still fresh. The conversation came to the usual point, of how impersonal New York is and how in-your-face Israel is. I forget that […]

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fresh food new york

Frappuccino desperation.

When I was back in New York in May, I perchance walked into a Starbucks with some friends and noticed a new drink on their menu: this mint chocolate iced frappuccino thing. I’m all about trying new ice blend chocolate coffee things, so I did. …And I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. Actually, salivating. […]

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new york

Lucky number 13.

Here’s a subtle cultural difference you don’t think about that often as a dual New York-Israel citizen. In Israel – as in Judaism in general – 13 is a great number. It’s the number when a boy becomes a man, at least mitzvot-wise. In Anglo culture – or is it Christian culture? European culture?  – […]

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new york

The New York questions.

When Israeliborns ask where I’m from ‘b’makor’ there are usually a few follow up questions that I get after I answer I’m from New York. Por example: Ahhh, so you lived/you have been to Brooklyn?! Are there a lot of Arabs there? Have you been to Harlem? Is it really scary? I wonder if you […]

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400 thoughts new york

A lesson from newborns and Coney Island.

Today was the most bizarre day I’ve experienced in a really long time. The same day consisted of me holding the newborn boy of a girl I consider a cousin as well as punching myself in the face on Coney Island’s Cyclone. This pseudo cousin gave birth to her first child deep into Saturday night. […]