Besides friends and family, I was only missing two material things when I made aliyah way back when: ice skating and hometown sports teams. Saying goodbye to the Cleveland Heights Pavilion and private skating lessons was second only to leaving my beloved Browns, Cavs and Indians (in that order) behind.
Israel then was a land of pay phones and asimonim; blue aerogramme letters and an occasional visit from back home. We’d place collect calls to Cleveland on Sunday nights just to get the operator on the line and quickly shout – did the Browns win? (almost always worked – who hadn’t watched the game!) We made quick friends with journalists whose Jerusalem offices had access to game results (thank you).
Crazy to imagine, yet we gathered for Monday night football, paying for the privilege of watching a game from two weeks before. Not to mention the video tapes I carefully purchased, labeled, and left with self-addressed stamped envelopes for friends to record and air mail to us each week.
The Messiah absolutely must be around the corner. With one click we can now log on and watch our teams real time. Our at-home, live-streamed, big screen experience is almost like being there. With thanks to the NFL and our Browns Backers front-office contacts, it seems this revolution is here to stay, and spread to other major league sports.
And we are destined to be bleary-eyed and exhausted during the season. But hey, who said aliyah was all roses?
p.s. Two last updates – Improved situation here for ice skating? Not so much. Metullah’s still far and we eagerly await the visionary who’ll invest in Jerusalem’s Arena basement to bring the Moshiach that much closer..
And GO CAVS – welcome to the Finals – cant believe that sentence is real! Follow #CavsIsrael to enjoy Israel’s very own oleh, Coach David Blatt and the rest of us Clevelanders in Israel as we lose sleep and watch live.