Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Some days are perfect :-)

When no day is perfect here, but that is to be expected. Any place where paying a bill takes 5 stops, has its problems, but frankly if all the bureaucracy was removed they would have to beat people away from this place. I mean it is late in October, and I am still wearing shorts, the weather has not gotten cold, my kids are both in all day Gan (Preschool) that has good religious content, 2 square meals, and lots of love for $600 per month for both of them. Apartments are cheap, and did I mention the weather.

It is funny 15 years ago this place (Ra’anana) was by world standards one of the most expensive cities in the world. Apartments here went for more then Apartments in London or Paris. The apartment we are living in was bought for $250,000 15 years ago, and now it is worth maybe 280. Over the last 15 years the only other place that in Dollar terms did this was maybe Japan, and Philadelphia. From the peak (2000) the value of this apartment went down $80k which considering the value is huge money.

I was asked why I love this place, and I do love it, I love it with such ruach that it scares me some days. The answer is that I cannot explain the place. It has a Vortex of energy that makes it a place of great love and hate. You can go to places like Ako, and you can feel the tears of the thousands of years that people have fought over that pretty little port city. It is a seriously sad place. You can go to Caesarea, and walk along the beach in the roman ruins and look at the sea. You can go and have the best Chumus in the world at the end of my block. If you doubt that this Chumus is this good, you do not understand I have had a lot of Chumus around the world and this is the best Chumus in the world. It is amazing how 1 hour before dinner I start to think about all the things I want to eat. Back to the topic, I was asked by a secular jew why I love this place, and I did not say for religious reasons.

I was a better Jew in Portland, maybe not in fact, but in spirit. Here it is so easy to keep kosher, you can buy everything in most every store and its kosher. You can go to 98 different shuls, and did I mention that there are like 50 different places to eat within 4 miles of my flat that are Kosher. If I get to shul at the start or the middle of Davening no one cares, and to get guests for Shabbat takes 4 weeks of reservations. In Portland I just had to set some pots a cooking and I had a full table.

I do not love this place for the traffic, the religious issues, or the weather, or the horribly ugly buildings, I love this place because it is home. It is my home, I am so proud to be here, I am so proud to stand up and be counted. Just being here feels like the most important thing I have ever done in my life, and I have done some other neat things.

That leads to the crux of the problem with the place, ½ of my Ulpan class are Doctors (I wish I was kidding), there are more Harvard MBA’s wandering around then I can shake a stick at, and my Brandeis degree is downright embarrassing low key. The real estate has not gone up in value because people want to own part of Israel. Rent however is cheap.

I want to say that I want to go home to America, I want to say that I will leave in a fit of Anger, but I can tell you the time that we leave on the air plane to go back to America if we do, part of me will be crying.

Watching my kids learn Hebrew, being able to read a paragraph in Hebrew, watching Iris’s family sit down for a dinner, these all make all the pain and trouble of this place worth while. If I leave I might look back at these words as the words of someone who does not understand, and laugh, but I think that in so many key ways I have found a place that I can grow old, and if I get into a rut I will be so happy.

No matter where my body is, Israel is my home. Now If I can just fix some of the problems like those 5 stops to pay my ulpan bill. (Famous last words)



Post a Comment

<< Home