Now, for the first time, The Times of Israel and AwesomeSeminars present “The top 14 facts they forget to tell you about aliya.”
Your children will be Israeli. A small detail but important. Not only will they be first-generation sabras, they will laugh at your Hebrew, correct your grammar and wonder why you demand they use such words as “please” and “thank you.”
Within five years, your Hebrew will not get better, but your English will become worse. You will be unable to speak any language correctly before 8.30 a.m. Hint — invest in a good spell checker.
If you are English, South African, Australian or just overweight, you will be considered American by Israelis. I made aliya from England to become an american, or “anglo.”
Forget ulpan; Israelis will speak English to you.
Hebrew doesn’t sound right when spoken with an English accent.
Within five years you will not be able to wait in a line. Elbows will have never-before-thought-of uses.
You will look at your bank statement to check how much you don’t have in your account. The larger your overdraft the more successful the aliya. The statement “the way to make a small fortune in Israel is to come with a big one” will become less funny as reality sinks in.
If you make aliya in your twenties you will have endless friends staying with you from abroad, having discovered cheap accommodation in Israel. Within ten years they will have forgotten you. Search in the David Citadel Hotel, you will find them there.
Cars are taxed at 100%, Cadbury’s chocolate just isn’t the same in Israel and EastEnders is two weeks behind Britain. (Americans just remember the 100%.)
You will wear sandals for five years, feeling like a combination of a Sabra and Jesus, only to realise that there are more comfortable options.
News from other countries will become inane.
Within five years you will “tut” instead of saying no, and you will drive in a way you would never believe.
You will shout at a traffic cop. I promise you, you will.
Despite all of the above, your children will be Jewish and will have a sense of pride. You will walk the roads where Jewish prophets and kings once walked. You will celebrate Jewish holidays and walk streets named after mega-Jews — not saints. You will become a part of Jewish history as it unfolds and, as an Israeli, you will be a Jew — not Jewish.