Category Archives: My Story

Buying Our First Car in Israel

Needless to say, as olim chadashim living in the center of the Shomron without a car, life has been pretty difficult getting around and going to government appointments, the bank, etc. Add to that the fact that we’re newlyweds, and because of our busy schedules and having to bus anywhere we go, we hadn’t been able to go on a honeymoon (or even so much as a tiyul). Thus, our search for a car began.

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On the Occasion of Our First Aliyah Anniversary

.ברוך אתה ה’ אלוקינו מלך העולם שהחינו וקימנו והגיענו לזמן הזה

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who has kept us alive and sustained us and brought us to this season.

Last Rosh Hashanah, I uttered this blessing in Tel Aviv’s Dan Panorama Hotel, confined to a 20 m² room for mandatory coronavirus quarantine, having arrived as an Oleh Chadash (new immigrant) from The Netherlands only a week prior. My then-girlfriend, Rachel, had made Aliyah from Texas just hours before I touched down at Ben Gurion Airport on the evening of September 10, 2020.

Madly in love and after not being able to visit each other for seven months due to COVID-19, we decided to pack our bags and go ahead with our respective long-held dreams to move to the Jewish state. 

This year, I merited to say Shehecheyanu at our family’s Rosh Hashanah meal in our dining room in Samaria — overlooking the site in Shiloh where the Mishkan (Tabernacle) stood for 369 years. הודו לה’ כי טוב כי לעולם חסדו

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Lessons From My First Time in Israel Under Rocket Fire

On May 10, 2021 Hamas launched rockets from Gaza to Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. While alarmed and praying for the people living and celebrating Yom Yerushalayim in Jerusalem, I wasn’t too concerned because I assumed the Iron Dome would prevent any rockets from hitting populated areas.

Avi Abelow live from the Kotel when the sirens sounded

While this turned out to be mostly true for Jerusalem, it wouldn’t be true for other parts of the country. Over the next two days, terrorist factions in Gaza would hurl over a thousand rockets all over Israel, specifically targeting Tel Aviv and communities in the Gaza Envelope.

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The Perils of Dealing with the Israeli Postal Service

The Israeli postal service is notorious for delivering packages late, sending them to the wrong address, or losing them altogether. I’m sharing this story as a guide for dealing with them, should any issues come up. Please note: I’ve ordered countless items online; this is the first time I’ve run into a case this bad.

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How to Get Married in Israel During COVID-19

My husband and I were matched online through sister sites Saw You At Sinai and See You in Israel (co-created by Nefesh B’Nefesh) on January 15, 2020. I was a critical care nurse from Texas, and Akiva was a policy officer for CIDI, a pro-Israel lobby group in the Netherlands. It was a perfect match. We had the same beliefs, values, religious observance, politics, and goals in life. After exchanging a few texts and calling a few times, it became clear that we had the exact same sense of humor as well! The only problem was we were living in two different countries, literally an ocean apart. Hearing I was planning a trip to Israel, Akiva decided to meet me there, and we met in person in Jerusalem. We went on two dates before returning to our respective countries. Then COVID-19 hit, and international travel was banned. We continued texting back and forth and making video calls that would last over 6 hours. Quite a feat considering a time difference of seven hours! We fell in love over our mutual love of Hashem, Israel, the Jewish people, and good memes. We met each other’s family over Zoom.

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