humor

Tales of Jewish Dating, Part I: Shadchanim and Beyond

shadchanim

In The Beginning…

Almost two decades ago, I started dating with a fury. I was visiting shadchanim and going on dates just about every week.

And I was miserable.

At the time I was living in Israel, watching all my friends getting married, and itching to find my own soulmate. Arguably pathetically desperate.

I went to many, many shadchanim. This word loosely translates to matchmakers (and very humorously is also the word in Hebrew for staplers). No, they’re not what you might picture from Fiddler on the Roof. It’s a fairly modern version of a similar idea. They’re simply people who maintain lists of guys and girls, and try to attempt to intelligently pair them up.

I don’t want to crap on the profession (or hobby). But I can definitely say it was a system that failed me terribly.

To start my tale, I want to tell a few stories from my pre-marriage attempts to meet people through the “system”.

Shadchanim and Common Character Traits

I recall sitting in a hotel lobby with an Israeli girl. We attempted polite conversation, but failed miserably. And to make matters all the more uncomfortable, she was very clearly a gold digger. I don’t really have a problem with that per se… however, at that point in my life I was working as a sofer (scribe), and living on scraps. How do you tell your gold digger date that you’re living in a caravan for $90 a month, and still sometimes struggle to make rent?

Afterwards I went to the shadchanit (female matchmaker) and politely asked her what she saw that made her think we would be a good match. And that’s when she said two words that will forever live in my mind in infamy:

“Mostly age.”

I still get angry even typing the words.

For God’s sake, if the only thing you can find in common between two people is something wildly trivial, and you completely ignore all other details that show the match is not a good one, get another hobby!

Common Philosophical Outlook

Another odd moment I had involved a young lady who sat across from me and stated without a shred of irony that she can’t believe how anyone can call themselves Lubavitch and not believe the Rebbe is the Messiah.

Now for anyone who has no idea what I’m talking about, the Rebbe is a reference to the leader of a Chassidic group (Lubavitch or Chabad) who died in 1994. A rapidly quieting faction decided that despite his death, the Rebbe was in fact the Messiah. There is a minuscule portion of the Jewish population who believes this. And then there are the rest of us, who find the idea to be anywhere from inane to repellent.

My thoughts upon hearing that my date held this position with extremely aclacrity:

“Well… I guess the rest of this date’s a formality… ”

Shadchanim and Looking for a Little Growth

Once I went to a shadchanit who sat with a little rolodex of eligible guys and girls. You would tell her a little about yourself and she would flip through her little card catalogue from an era gone by, trying to see who might be a fitting match.

I described myself, as one might in their early 20s, as being very spiritual. Constantly searching. Looking to grow and become a better person every day of my life.

At least twice during our little meeting, she said something along these lines:

“Oh, this is a very lovely girl. She’s a nursing student. Very pretty. Extremely nice attitude. And… oh wait, sorry. She’s not into growth.”

And then she would continue fiddling with the rolodex looking for the next candidate.

And I just stood there. Dumbfounded. Wondering what their conversation must have looked like.

“Hi, my name is Samantha. I would like to find a person with whom to stagnate and stay the same forever.”

Nearly two decades later, I still have no words.

And along with the no words, there is no segue that does this final story justice.

What’s a Little Hair Pulling?

Many moons ago I was hired to work as a security guard at a festival in Jerusalem. The workload was very light, but it is not within the capability of an Israeli boss to just to let you sit there and do nothing. When in doubt, they make up stuff to do.

And there I was. Appointed to stand next to the stage, and told my sole responsibility was to arbitrarily tell people they couldn’t walk past the area I was blocking.

And then, of course, everybody and their sister not only needed to walk through that area, but there was no other choice. And it was a matter of life and death.

One young lady stood in front of me. She gave me a sob story about how she had asked the people at the front entrance to use the bathroom, all so she could sneak into the concert. But alas, now she had a change of heart and wanted to leave. However, if she went out the way she came, they would know what she did. The ONLY way she could go to avoid trouble and embarrassment was the path that I was blocking.

Meanwhile…

Two other folk were screaming at me to let them by, as if my preventing their doing so was preventing them from curing cancer.

And the anger and emotions pouring from the three of them stood in stark contrast to my one and only responsibility.

This went on for what felt like a year, until while I was dealing with the screamers, the young lady decided to dart right past me.

I recall the next part in slow motion. I shouted, “Nooooo!” and reached in her direction… and before I knew what was happening, she was staring at me in pain. And I stood there with a fistful of her hair in my hand.

I awoke from my stupor, released my grip, and she ran off into the night. Never to be seen or heard from again.

At least that’s what I thought…

Two years later… I was walking along on a date… and I really thought the girl looked familiar…

Yes. That happened. It really did.

Suffice it to say, there was no second date.

 

So… it would appear that the road of shadchanim was not the right path for me. What’s next?

 

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Posted by jaffeworld in divorce, humor, judaism, personal story, 0 comments

The Death of Political Comedy

Political Comedy

I miss political comedy.

So much.

I remember the days of soaking in the Colbert Report and Jon Stewart and John Oliver. None of them, for the most part, represent my political thoughts or opinions. But they were always on point. And always hysterical.

And for reasons I hope to explore in this article, I feel like I’ve lost all of them. Two of the three of them are still quite active and extremely popular; I just can’t stand to watch their routines anymore. Not even for a few moment. I barely crack a smile. And it pains me that I no longer have this outlet.

Humor has gotten me through some pretty dark times. And who doesn’t love a good laugh?

I just wish we could return to the good ole days, when these folk made me laugh all the time.

Racially Insensitive Comedy

Let’s first look at my general view of, well, we’ll call it racially insensitive comedy.

I love it!

I unabashedly enjoy a good racist, sexist, or ethnic joke. It’s a fantastic world of humor. And it would be a shame to lose out on a great outlet for a few good chuckles.

And I don’t differentiate. They’re all funny! I enjoy jokes that make fun of men or Jews or Americans or any other group I identity with. A funny joke is a funny joke.

However, it doesn’t take an enormous amount of psychological instinct to uncover the motivation behind the joke’s teller. Just like a joke’s quality can be improved or destroyed by how it’s delivered, you can always feel the motivation behind the one telling a joke.

If the motive of the “insensitive” joke is good-willed humor, the joke has all the potential in the world to be funny. Place a small amount of hate into the tone of the teller–even the tiniest amount–and all humor is instantly sucked out of what could have been a comical tale.

Hate is the enemy of humor.

I repeat: Hate is the enemy of humor.

And this is one of the reasons I miss Jon Stewart so much. He wrecked so many people with his brilliant words and rhetoric, and in all of it, I never felt like there was animosity hiding behind his thoughts. I felt there was political motivation. And certainly an urge to impact others with his words. But it always felt like he was searching for the truth, rather than spewing venomous hatred onto others.

And always, his primary goal was humor.

Even with his political rivals, like Bill O’reilly, it felt like the banter between them was taken in the humorous spirit it was meant.

In walks his replacement, Trevor Noah. I loved Trevor Noah’s standup comedy. I thought his jokes and delivery were very creative. His impersonations were top notch.

And yet his version of the Daily Show is completely unwatchable to me.

The reason: I feel hate in every word that comes out of his mouth. By all means mock Donald Trump. Hell, it’s all they ever talk about these days (we’ll come back to that). But hatred? Come on! It’s beneath political comedians to have animosity toward those they mock.

And hatred is the enemy of humor.

If you cannot suppress your hatred of your topic, choose a different topic.

Which brings me to my next point.

Isn’t there anything else to talk about!?

Don’t be fooled. There are other topics besides Donald Trump. But it doesn’t feel that way anymore.

One of the things that made John Oliver so special was that he usually stayed far away from obvious, mainstream topics. But now he’s joined the crew of comics who explore one topic and one topic alone: The Trump.

Don’t get me wrong. Trump’s a treasure chest of things to mock. He says more crazy things in a day worth tearing apart than who knows how many of his predecessors combined.

But so many of us are sick of hearing about it.

And in a field where creativity is so important, choosing not only the same topic, but a particularly easy one, just demonstrates their writers have gotten lazy and uninventive.

Good ole George Bush Sr. and his friendly sidekick Dan Quayle provided the American people with four solid years of entertainment fodder. It was a golden generation! Amusement galore. However, it never felt overdone. And yet, with Donald Trump I was getting sick and tired of the jokes before he even took office.

So you have this wonderful trio of funny disciples of Jon Stewart, who combined have provided me with countless hours of laughter, but now spend their every waking hour recycling the same hate-filled jokes as each other on only one topic.

And I wouldn’t even know if they decided to try a new path, because I stopped watching a while back already.

Is political comedy dead forever?

I’m not sure political comedy can be resurrected once the sword has already pierced its heart. But I hope it can. I think people, particularly the younger generations, find this to be a more palatable way to become educated than newspapers and documentaries. You can argue that it’s a flawed method, since it’s inherently biased; however, you can easily say the same thing about any news program or publication. Where are biases not overwhelming in the media? At least this way we receive important information and a few solid chuckles along the way.

Sadly, the odds of John Oliver and the others reading my post are pretty slim. They should know, however, that there are those of us out there who really appreciate their brand of humor, regardless of political leanings or affiliations, but are frustrated and feel that they could be doing what they do better.

Comedy, among other things, has repeatedly breathed some vitality into my soul. But it only works when it is done with the spirit of levity and joy with which it is intended. Slip outside even a little, and the art is tainted.

Please don’t rob me of something so special to me!

 

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Posted by jaffeworld in humor, opinion, 0 comments

Ten More People in Israel I Could Live Without

difficult Israelis
A while back I wrote about the 15 people in Israel I could do without, a little lighthearted (hopefully) poke at this wacky place and some of the difficult Israelis who reside here. I think it’s more than due time for a few more!

The Reluctant to Acknowledge Crosswalks

I get the feeling every time I walk across a crosswalk that the drivers in the land of Israel are still quite reluctant to acknowledge their existence. So about ten times everyday one or more drivers make me think I’m about to die.

Some drivers are nice enough to stop… in the middle of the crosswalk. However, others like to keep my heart rate pumping by choosing to slow down right at the very last moment.

I actually had a man rapidly pull right in front of me, stop in the crosswalk, roll down his window, and laugh at me.

True story.

The Screamers

Not what you’re thinking. Get your mind out of the gutter!

I find that volume control is not a valued character trait in Israel. Wherever I go, I always hear people shouting. I hear them shouting on their cellphones while sitting in public restrooms. I hear them shouting while walking up my street at 2AM. And I hear them shouting to the person sitting one foot away from them on a bus.

After a complicated and painful history, the Chosen People’s voices must be heard!

The Toilet Seat Urinators

I can’t speak for the women’s room experience, but I can safely say that proper men’s room etiquette is likely not a part of the Israel education system. Another Israel pastime is wandering from stall to stall, searching for the one miraculous seat that has not been tainted with another man’s bodily fluids.

The People in the Grocery Store

All of them.

Seriously.

The grocery store has quickly lodged itself into my psyche as one of the most stressful parts of living in Israel. It’s as if all employees and every customer has come together in a solemn pact that when they enter the grocery store, they leave all semblance of humanity behind.

Just three things I’d like to say about the grocery store experience here in the

Holy Land:

  1. Twice I’ve had the cashier just disappear for 5-10 minutes with no explanation, with a long line of angry and confused customers getting angrier and more confused by the second. So odd, and so not OK.
  2. Parking the grocery cart sideways in an already thin aisle in a crowded grocery store is extremely common… and a really, really bad idea.
  3. I don’t know what they’re called, but there’s an ingenious item out there, a small plastic rectangle utilized by civilized grocery stores, so customers can place them in between other customers’ groceries to distinguish them. I think the time has come for the country that brought us the USB and the PillCam to adopt this cutting edge technology as well.

The Smokers…

Yeah, yeah, I know. The smoking problem is a huge one. It’s not funny. And I and others have been harping on about it for years.

I wanted to speak of a specific type of smoker who irks me. It’s the one who will walk up next to you, pretty much anytime, anywhere, and just nonchalantly light up a cigarette without a concern in the world that they might be bothering someone.

Pardon the crudeness for a moment, but I see no difference between this and someone who sits down next to someone and flatulates loudly, proudly, and with a pungent after effect. Part of me wishes I could do so right on the spot whenever someone lights a cigarette next to me. “Oh, I’m sorry. Was that impolite? Does the smell bother you?”

The Landlords

And speaking of not funny subjects that actually rip apart the fabric of the society…
What do you get when a neighborhood in a city is immensely popular, apartments are in lousy shape, laws pretty much do nothing to protect renters, and owners take no pride in the apartments they own?
Dilapidated, nasty apartments with problems galore and landlords who couldn’t care less that you exist, so long as you pay the overpriced rent.

The Non-Emailers

For questions I’ve sent via email since moving back to Israel, I think the response rate I’ve received is hovering around 4%.

Having email addresses on Israeli websites is as useful as the ‘open’ signs in stores that are never turned around or the posted hours that absolutely no one adheres to.

The Strikers

Strikes make Israel appear like the Keystone Cops. Several mornings this year I had to wait until my child received text messages from friends to find out whether or not he would have school that day, due to a possible teacher strike. I’ve wandered past mounds of trash and dumpsters on fire during garbage strikes. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of who goes on strike here.

I don’t really have very much evidence that strikes are effectual. I do certainly have more than enough evidence that they are annoying.

The Bus Crowders

This is usually a malady of a youth incapable of perceiving the worth of humans over inanimate objects, the slowly swelling crowd, or the unspoken anger of nearby passengers.

A few times I’ve been on a crowded bus with a young person consuming up to three seats. One for their weary tush, one for their hardworking knapsack, and one in front of them for their belabored feet. And for some odd reason they are surrounded by a slew of tired, overworked adults who are uncharacteristically polite and patient in not shaking the youth into realizing his errant ways.

Bikers

Bicycles, electric bikes, motorcycles. I’m quite unclear as to whether or not they are considered by Israeli law as vehicles or pedestrians. One thing’s for sure though. Those who use them certainly think they are pedestrians when it works for them, and vehicles when it works for them as well.

If you haven’t almost been hit by one of the three as they raced past a red light, weaved between cars to get a better spot in traffic, or while zooming around in pedestrian-only neighborhoods, you’re either extremely lucky, or don’t spend much time outside.

Bonus: Those Who Can’t Move On

Did you every meet one of those people who no matter how long they live in Israel, no matter what type of experience they have here, and no matter how hard times may have occasionally been in their previous residence, they just can’t move on? They just can’t accept that things are different here and will never be like their glorified country of origin?

Oh crap, that’s me!

 

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Posted by jaffeworld in humor, Israel, 0 comments

15 People in Israel I Could Do Without

People in Israel

People in Israel

My list of people in Israel is not exhaustive. It could be 20, 30, maybe even 50 people (What sane person wants to read that!?). These are just some (hopefully) comical observations I’ve made since my big return to the Holy Land nine months ago. Some of the titles could use work. Please offer suggestions. For people I left off the list as well.

And without further ado, I present fifteen people in Israel I Could Really Do Without:

1) The Line Cutter

Anyone who’s been here for any amount of time has had this experience. You’ve been standing in line at the store or bank or wherever for what seems like a week, and just before you get to that glorious moment of finally arriving at the clerk, someone pops in out of nowhere and adamantly exclaims that the spot right in front of you is theirs.

That guy. I could really do without that guy.

And speaking of clerks…

2) The Clerk

Oh the mighty Israeli clerk, so very disinterested in the fact that a customer is standing right in front of them. Please understand, my need to purchase a product from you is more important than your phone call, and your propensity to completely ignore me is not looked upon favorably. I have a secret for you: I’m going to give you money in exchange for the items I’m holding. And you will develop a reputation for being caring and attentive to your customers in a world where it’s not all that common.

It truly is a win-win. So please put down your phone and at least pretend like I matter to you.

And then you try and leave the store, likely to encounter…

3) The Doorway Stander

Israelis tend to perch themselves in doorways and narrow passageways. I haven’t quite grasped the benefit of doing so, and they haven’t quite grasped that they’re unnecessarily blocking foot traffic and forcing others to collide with them. You are pretty much guaranteed that wherever you go you will be slowed by a Doorway Stander, and you will be perplexed why they couldn’t just move five feet and stand completely out of everyone’s way.

Of course, you wouldn’t be out of the woods just yet…

4) The Slow Walker

I needed to move to Israel in order to discover one of the most brilliant American concepts embedded in my mind from my earliest days: Always keep to the right. (Trust me, not a political comment.)

When a society understands this principle, walking can be a true pleasure. There’s a beautiful synergy. Barring large crowds, obstructions, or the few who just never figured things out, you just get to move freely wherever you go.

Israelis never learn to walk. They don’t keep right. They don’t really seem to have a goal of not colliding with others. Streets have tons of people just walking at one another. No system, just chaos. (Where’s Fezzik when you need him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Redc8bv8NOk?)

But there are some who take this inability to walk among others to a whole new level. They walk slowly—extremely slowly—and regardless of body girth, they manage to take up an entire sidewalk. Don’t even try to walk around them. Their keen homing beacon senses someone trying to get from point A to point B, and with a slight lean left or right, they render the breach impossible.

But if you find your way around, you still might not be safe, for lying in wait is…

5) Rolling Thunder

I understand the benefits of rolling carts for carrying groceries home. Things get heavy, few of us have cars. The only way to make it home at any reasonable speed without your arms in violent pain, is these silly, little carts.

However, as mentioned earlier, that’s all fine and good in a society that stresses walking skills and the awareness of others around you. But a walk through the market here is a series of near falls, crushed toes, and bruised shins.

But the bruises build character, as does…

6) Dr. Smokes Over My Food

I could (and might) write a post just about smoking in Israel. The omnipresent stench of cigarette smoke might top off my list of reasons I did not want to move back here. But that’s not for this post. Smoking, as repulsive a habit as it might be, serves a purpose in Israel. A tense society needs simple outlets for stress reduction, and until someone finds a suitable replacement, I’m afraid cigarettes are not going anywhere.

Nor am I writing about the people I see sitting next to their small children smoking, or even the pregnant women I’ve seen smoking. There’s no excuse for what they do. Prison is not good enough. Bludgeoning? Maybe.

No, this is about that guy in the market, selling nuts or spices or pita or whatever, with that cigarette nonchalantly dangling from his mouth. Smoke later. Smoke elsewhere. Use a friggin’ ashtray. Do something differently. But please please do not make we walk away from your shop conjuring up images of eating dried fruit with a hint of cigarette ash.

Luckily, once you’ve gotten around the slow guy and survived the carts and ash ingestion, your walk will be quiet and pleasant…

7) The Honker

Recent studies have showed conclusively that the average lag time between when a light turns green and the average Israeli driver starts slamming on their horn is 0.63 seconds. And when one horn starts, the herd follows.

If you’re lucky, after a long period of living in the city, you’ll learn to tune out the cacophony.

And now we’re almost at our destination… 

8) The Ignorant Directions Giver

Oh this guy. He’s so sweet, and so well intentioned. At least I hope and assume.

It’s fairly common to walk down the street and get this reply when asking for directions: “I don’t know”

A perfectly respectable answer. It’s honest, it’s concise…

However, it never ends there. It’s followed by 3-5 minutes of speculative directions, a chunk of time better spent on almost anything, for it adds nothing to the aforementioned “I don’t know”.

Yeah, I could do without that.

Alright, you’re almost at home sweet home. What could go wrong in your own neighborhood?

9) The Litterer

I hope—I passionately hope—that the day comes when Israel as a society realizes how revolting it is to throw its trash on the ground. I understand that it’s not part of the education, nor is it frowned upon by the society at large. And for certain there are not nearly enough trashcans.

However, at some point there’s simply no excuse. I recently watched a teenager fling the cap of his beverage into a tree display, about five feet away from a trashcan. It mesmerized me. Why? No further effort, no inconvenience to his life at all, but I guess he still couldn’t bring himself to make the most minimal effort to keep his city clean.

I’m not a wildly spiritual person, but come on. This is Jerusalem! Jews waited nearly 2,000 years to gain control of this land again. Half the world thinks it’s the holiest place in the universe. Pick up your damn trash!

And to dispel some common myths: Your cigarette butts, leftover food, and your dogs’ waste absolutely DO count as littering.

10) The Cat Feeder

Cats are a phenomenon in Israel. They are everywhere. And they are not the friendly, cuddly little fellas who snuggle up on American couches across the country. They are aggressive and leap out of dumpsters when you throw out your trash.

I understand that it’s wonderful to be caring and compassionate to animals. However, if you’ve had the misfortune of living near one of the many who place food outside for the cats to swarm upon, you know that you will daily be trudging through a veritable forest of little, mangy felines every time you walk up your street.

Really want to be compassionate? Open the door and let them live with you. Seriously. I don’t want to trip on any more cats!

11) The Public Urinator

The top of my street smells like pee. I avoid it at all costs, and I’m embarrassed when someone comes to visit, because it’s pretty much inevitable they’re going to walk right past that vile little spot.

I’ve caught the culprits a handful of times, unabashedly urinating right behind the dumpster up my street. I’ve confronted them. Nothing. No reaction. For some in this country, dropping ones pants and going whenever and wherever is just their way of life.

And a few more folk you might bump into before the day is out…

12) The Laughs at American Accent Guy

There exists a fella amongst Israeli society who needs to explore the world more. He’s stoic, almost absent a sense of humor. That is, of course, until he finds the one thing that truly tickles him: An American speaking Hebrew.

All others get a free pass on their inauthentic accents, but the American supplies humor without limits.

It’s hard moving to a foreign society and learning another language. I salute the rare helpful Israeli who overlooks the odd accent and comical mistakes, and respects our daily challenges and chooses to assist us rather than mock us. You might not know it, but we really, really like you.

13) The Five-Minute Warning

The words “five minutes” have very little meaning to people in Israel. It’s not uncommon to be told something will take five minutes, only to be left waiting for hours or even to not hear back until the next day.

I don’t like meaningless phrases. We all need to get stuff done. Please please please give me a proper estimate of how long it will actually take!

14) The Unnecessary Beggar

Walking down the streets of Jerusalem is like walking through a carnival of people shaking coins at you, pouring all sorts of guilt on everyone trying to get them to fork over their cash.

Yes, I’m aware that life can be very challenging, and that there are many circumstances in life that render people unable to work or pay for basic necessities. And some are certainly more fortunate than others.

What I can’t seem to understand is this: Equally as ubiquitous as beggars in Jerusalem are signs on shops saying they are looking for workers. And yes, I’m aware that the jobs are less than thrilling. And I’m aware that the wages are terribly low, and very likely less than what’s made by harassing each unsuspecting pedestrian.

But don’t you think life would be better if you earned your money? Don’t you think there would be less stress and more pride if your paycheck were consistent? Your life improves, stores run more efficiently, and walking down the street is more pleasant. Win win win!

And finally…

15) The Opinion Sharer

There’s no opinion too big or small for residents of this wild country not to share. Giving unsolicited opinions is one of Israelis favorite pastimes.

This really came to the fore for me after my recent dog purchase. I’m certainly out and about a lot more often. And I can’t walk ten feet without someone commenting on how I walk my dog. When I first got him, there was a moment when his harness came off. I had to run after him and hold him down to attach the leash to his collar. As I was doing this—frantically—a girl walking by and shouted at me in horror, “What are you doing to him!?” I started explaining myself, bumbling through my words as I wrestled with my dog, until I finally eked out some form of, “Go away. This has nothing to do with you!”

I hope to, as the days go by, learn to just ignore the barrage of opinions flying my way. Hey, it’ll free me up to hear more of the sweet sounds of horns honking.

* * *

And now that I’ve alienated 90% of the people in Israel, my country of residence, I’ll go home and work on my own patience, and my tolerance of the wildly inane. (The sequel!)

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Posted by jaffeworld in humor, Israel, 1 comment
40th Birthday: Oh Crap, It Happened

40th Birthday: Oh Crap, It Happened

40thMy 40th Birthday rolled around…

I have been procrastinating starting this blog for many, many months now. Sadly, my mind tricked me in innumerable ways to delay myself from hitting the keyboard. The most convincing method was telling myself that I needed to find the right moment or milestone to propel me to get my thoughts down on paper. And here I sit, tired next to my dog Frankie, a tad lonely on my 40th birthday, saying to myself, “If I don’t start now, I probably never will.”

So I’m 40 now. Despite every mental effort I could muster up, it happened anyway.

And those 40 years are nothing if not endless thoughts, endless musings on why things have happened in my life. I can’t keep them straight, and I can’t keep them bottled up inside.

I originally named my blog “Return to Israel”, since eight months ago I moved back to this wacky country after being away for eleven years. This return is one of countless transitions I’ve gone through in the past few years, including an intense divorce and an intimidating career switch.

Twenty years ago I moved to Israel with starry eyes. I wanted to be in my ancestral homeland, to be in the place that God Himself promised to my people. I was excited and so proud, and for years I loved every minute of my time here. However, eight years later I left with a nasty taste in my mouth, one that’s quite hard to describe, but one that only got stronger with each passing year. I left thinking I’d be back in one or two years; within a decade, I had lost all interest.

So why am I here?

It’s quite simple math. My children moved here with their mother a year before me. And despite the comfortable and fulfilling life I had built for myself in the States, it reeked of emptiness being so far from my beautiful children.

And here I stand. I’m 40 now. It happened. Despite disbelief that it could, and despite all efforts to prevent it from happening, I’m 40. I am rebuilding my life from scratch, in a land so familiar yet so foreign to me, trying to figure things out. I’m trying to start over. And the most healing thing I can think of is to attempt to get my thoughts and feelings out into the open.

Please join me in my journey. It will be a bumpy ride, sometimes bitter and angry, sometimes hopeful or even hysterical. I’m writing things down one way or the other. I’d be honored if you’d like to hear what I have to say.

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Posted by jaffeworld in humor, opinion, personal story, 3 comments