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I’m Actually Living in Israel

It has been over ten months since I moved to Israel.  My life is pretty routine now.  I think I have already experienced most of the culture shock and things now seem normal to me.  And yet, I still have these odd, emotional moments when it suddenly dawns on me that I’m living in Israel.

It happens to me almost every morning like clock-work.  I’m inside my home desperately trying to get ready for work.  I have to meet the hasa’ah (company supplied transportation) at 7:35.  I’m focused on the things that I need to bring and making sure that I take care of everything before I leave.  Finally, I say good-bye to everyone, open the front door to leave, and this is what I see:

The view from my front door in Ra'anana

You’d think I would be used to it by now.  I’ve been doing this almost everyday for six months.  None-the-less, it hits me everyday: you’re not in Maryland anymore; those palm trees are in the Land of Israel. 

Awesome.  I still can’t believe I am fortunate enough to live here.  It is such a dream.  I cannot explain how ecstatic I feel.

It’s true that my Hebrew is coming along way to slow and I often have no clue what is going on around me.  Perhaps there’s a little bit of child-like innocence and naivety in this — I’m happy because I’m clueless.  But I don’t think so.  I like to think of it as being Born Again Jewish-style.

I work for an incredible, employee-friendly company.  A month ago, my organization went on a one and a half-day company sponsored trip to the Negev.  It’s a team build and every employee goes on one annually (different destinations for each group each year).

Last week, the company sponsored a brunch for our team at a restaurant in Jerusalem.  The restaurant was located in the Mamilah Mall outside of the Old City in Jerusalem.  Great food, good people, beautiful view,…in Israel.  It was really pleasant.

Afterwards, driving back to work,  I had another one of those moments.  I’m in the back of a car.  The car is driven by a Russian. An Israeli is sitting next to him.  They are talking in a language that I don’t understand.  I can understand the radio — it’s playing the song “Play With Fire” by The Rolling Stones.  We are driving through residential neighborhoods in Jerusalem.  It seems so surreal; something that you might read in a book or see in a movie.

Driving back to work is like the opening line of a joke: A Russian, an Israeli, and an American are driving through Jerusalem....

Looking out the side window listening to The Rolling Stones...

Sometimes, it is really hard to believe that we decided to take such a significant risk: closing my company, putting my career in limbo, and moving our family to a different continent where a completely different language is spoken.  I don’t really view myself as a risk taker, but I don’t want to live with regret.  It is better to pursue the dream and make it work then regretting not making the effort.

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Categories: Israel Tags: ,
  1. shana
    2011-07-04 at 10:41 am

    beautiful post!
    I still have those “OMG i’m in Israel” moments and i’ve been here for 20 years. It never leaves you!

  2. janice nelson
    2011-07-04 at 1:42 pm

    Yes, I believe, “It is better to pursue the dream – – – . I have always been the happiest when I have followed my dreams. I have always urged my children to cast a big net, because you might be delightfully surprised at what you catch.

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