1. Israel: No One Belongs Here More Than You leads to
2. Aliyah: It’s A Process, Stupid
Like I’ve said before, moving your life from there to here has multiple approaches.
1. Ditch everything and bring two suitcases and a laptop.
2. Ditch nothing and bring a 40-foot shipping container…even (if you are truly nuts) a car
3. Edit, bring some, (1-2 years later) find that it’s way too much, and wish you had brought less
I am deep in the midst of number three right now. In the past I wrote about clothes. Still true. I haven’t managed to gather the strength to re-jigger my wardrobe. My attitude towards winter clothes has basically been: we have a washer and a dryer; nobody cares if I wear the same four things over and over (right, Gila?); I am putting a sweatshirt or fleece over it anyway; and I still can’t figure out what size I am here. (32?)
In another few weeks it will be hot again.
I need to lie down.
And I brought too many shoes. Someone–I wish I could remember who–told me that in Israel you need a pair of sandals, a pair of boots, and a pair of sneakers (read: something to hike in). This is 100% fact. If you want to be stylish, I recommend two pairs of sandals (it’s a long season), dress boots, rain boots, sneakers, and casual flats. This means I have a dozen pairs too many. Too many = every shabbat I look at them, don’t wear them, and instead wear my boots (in winter) or my dressy sandals (in summer).
So that is my first Aliyah ProTip: BRING FEWER PAIRS OF SHOES. FOR REAL. (I just totally reaffirmed Shanna’s assertion that she is never moving here. Reason #2, after Original Reason: The Summer Heat. You can thank me later, Shanna.)
But our bigger issue right now is our dining room table. In my heart, I am glad we brought it. In my head, I am very unsure.
Ironically, this is as we are looking for a place to buy, which will absolutely be bigger than our 107 square meter rental. But during every real estate visit, we think of The Table. Where will The Table go? What if The Table is sporting an extra leaf? Or both extra leaves? Will The Table block the way out of the living room, like it does in our current apartment?
In some places we’ve seen, the current owners don’t even appear to have a dining room table, just stools pulled up to an island or shelf in the kitchen. This isn’t a way I can fathom living. But, at the same time, I harbor brief fantasies of owning an Israeli dining table. They are like piece of wood origami, unfolding this way and that, revealing leaves and hidden cutlery drawers. Our beautiful cherry-wood table seems clunky in comparison, and too big (seating for six, not four) in its downsized state.
Two years ago, as we were preparing to come, a friend who came as a newlywed suggested we bring as little as possible. In my head, I know she was–and is–totally right. In my heart, I can’t shake 10 years worth of Shabbat meals, birthday celebrations, and important discussions we had there. The Table…we are going to have to figure you out.