Yom Haaztmaut 5774: Three reasons why

‘Why did you move to Israel?’

We get asked that a lot, don’t we?

Here’s my #1 reason 9 years ago, and my #1 reason now: Children who know no differently…

The list of reasons for living in Israel grows each year I live and learn here. This year it grew by way of another Israeli kid. One more kid to realize a dream.

(Also, shwarma.)

Go gaga for mongal. Or…

Recently I came across this ‘infographic’. I don’t know the source or whether the stats are correct, but it still resonates because we all know what the sky looks like by the time Yom Haatzmaut is over:

1636 פרות, 1884 כבשים, 548 חזירים, 685,000 תרנגולות... ביום אחד. יום העצמעות שמח.

1636 cows. 1884 sheep. 548 pigs. 685,000 chickens… in one day. Happy Independence Day.

The animals. The air. The smell of our hair. Nothing is left untouched when we get excited about something as a nation.

Are there alternatives to a gluttonous meatfest when celebrating the most important event in modern Jewish history?

How about…

  1. An early hike, before the smoke settles
  2. A day at the beach – it’s not as crowded as you’d think, and no bbq-ing allowed
  3. A block party – a group in Efrat puts one on every year – what better way to celebrate community?

I know it’s ‘what’s done’ and I know we as a country love to barbecue in general. But surely we could diversify a little bit.

Maybe an even healthier by-product would be less audible duf duf music.

Patriotism through the eyes of a kid.

A couple days ago, unsure of whether my son’s gan would cover it extensively, I started teaching him about Yom Haatzmaut myself.

Which actually just meant teaching him the word דגל.

Yesterday, he discovered the Israeli flag in our house… the very one we had been talking about. That made him mildly excited and less skeptical that I’m just spewing useless information half the time.

On the way to gan today, through streets covered in flags, lamp posts draped in flags, homes decorated in flags – he just. couldn’t. believe. it.

At every turn, at every new kikar, he squealed in laughter and cries of ‘degels! degel! more degel! DEGELS EVERYWHERE!’


And lest you become concerned with there being yet another zealous zionist in the world, well… I’m pretty sure it was more about the wonderment at there being so many of something he just learned exists.

Free to be… sixty three.

Had a great day, especially since Park Begin wasn’t a disheveled, polluted mess by the time it ended! I love how a bunch of immigrant friends can get together, no local family aside, and have a great time of a national holiday.

To the %#@! asshole who let his Doberman Pinscher run loose through groups of families in the park: seriously, fuck you. Your giant dog, which should have been tied up (or not at a family park on a national holiday) ran past my traumatized kid, sunk his teeth into his ball, tore it apart, ran through another family making their kids freak and their baby cry, then you yelled back at the mother who dared call you out on it, and  when you finally caught your dog and started walking away, you didn’t even apologize until we prompted you to. What I really want is to call you at home and have my kid leave a message on your machine, where he says the sentence he’s been repeating all day in a sad, traumatized voice since I explained to him why he can no longer play with his ball in the grass: doggy broken… doggy broken…

<throat clear, dust off shoulder>

I love this country, I love living here, and feel incredibly lucky to be making my life in this place the last six years. I just wish the same for anyone else who’s looking to attempt it.

Israeli flag protekzia.

Someone is watching over us. Taking care that we do right by our adopted citizenhood.

And that someone… is our mortgage bank representative.

She happens to live in Tzur Hadassah, and her home happens to be located at the bottom of the hill our apartment overlooks. And now that she knows exactly where we live (and what our repayments are like) – well, she’s decided to take care of us. When she brought some papers home for us yesterday, she included a package of Israeli flags for us to hang on our mirpeset which overlooks the yishuv.

“I noticed you haven’t hung up any flags yet, so I thought you could use this!”

Finally, a bank that goes above and beyond…?

Still here.

It confuses me that about one half of myself can’t believe we’re still here, and can’t believe things will continue the way they are – growing, productive, surviving… and the other half of myself thinks, look at the progress! Look at how far we’ve come, and how far we’re poised to go! We build buildings made from bricks and cement – no more tents, no more temporary!

But… bricks and cement can be bombed, other half of me argues. Nothing is really permanent. What’s 63 years? In fact, what’s 5,771 years in the grand scheme of things?

But… somehow, it keeps going, second half says. There’s something stronger than time that keeps it going.