Israeli life on paper.

I’m covered in dust as I write this from the depths of old documents, yellowed papers, stacks of ancient bills. Call it spring cleaning, call it nesting, call it what you will but I have managed to set aside three cartonim of dead trees to recycle. 

What’s super fun about doing something like this – in what is probably the first time since I’ve had a teudat zehut – is the fact that I get to find all the bits and pieces that mark my time in Israel as an olah. Cards from well wishers, that intro packet they give you from the Ministry of Absorption, the first apartment contract (ah, rechov Lamed Hey…). 

It’s all flashing before my eyes on old crinkly papers: my first Israeli bank account, my first Orange bills, subsequently my first Cellcom bills (what self-respecting Israeli would only have one phone contract?), my university application. Contracts from my first job here, updated contracts from my first job here. Bar Ilan schedules and Bar Ilan bills. Minhal Studentim letters and ishurs and then the faxes pleaing for more money from Minhal Studentim. 

Did I mention Bar Ilan notebooks and Bar Ilan finals schedules and Bar Ilan student ID cards and Bar Ilan assignments? 

My Israeli life on paper seems to have been fairly active so far. Getting here, opening accounts, applying for jobs and internships, signing housing and job contracts, organizing trips abroad and health insurance, working on a second degree, planning a wedding, proving my Judaism in order to get married, owning a dog, continuing to work on a second degree, getting pregnant. I’ve been jobless and homeless and directionless and I’ve been hard-working and studious and settled down. City life, suburbia. Single, married. Student, employee.

While there have been many chapters to my aliyah so far, I do feel like this is the beginning of a truly new and fresh chapter; perhaps this is a ‘Part II’. Everything before has been about me and my perspective, whether on my own or as part of a relationship, and from here on in, well, life in Israel – the good, the bad, the scary – will be shaped by the existence of a unit far greater in value than just me.

Next up: Israeli family life.