What’s your Only in Israel story?

My blog, The Aliyah Survival Blog, was created more by mistake than on purpose. It was put together more by circumstance and even necessity, than actual planning – sort of like the State of Israel.

I initially started writing, just for the sake of writing. I had no intention to share it with anyone. When each day in Israel felt like a bigger cluster than the previous one, humor became my best coping mechanism. After being pushed to create a blog, I decided to share my experiences in the hopes of helping fellow and potential olim to find some humor in our self-imposed trials and tribulations.

The blog takes you through my personal journey – from moving to Israel, dealing with bureaucracy, learning Hebrew to becoming absorbed into a new culture, joining the army and dating. The blog exposes my comical, and sometimes embarrassing, transformation from being an American living in Israel to becoming an Israeli with an American accent.

After sharing many of my ONLY-IN-ISRAEL experiences, I wanted to hear from others about their experiences. Knowing that I wasn’t alone with my embarrassing, funny, and at times frustrating experiences, I started a contest inviting people to share their stories with the best story winning $150.

So far, I’ve gotten some great stories:

Robyn wrote about how she had tried to bypass Cellcom’s electronic service “by randomly pushing numbers on the service I had reported my phone as being stolen, and had requested a full block on the phone!!” I don’t think there is an oleh out there who hasn’t just pushed numbers at random to try to get to a live person.

Eilleen wrote about how her ear doctor gave her advice on her dating life, by saying that she needed someone to be sleeping next to her. As we all know, there isn’t an Israeli out there who isn’t ready to interfere with people’s personal lives.

Gidon who yelled “Commander Turkish Salad!!” to his commanding officer and got restricted to has base for the weekend. It is a surprise that any of us immigrants make it out alive of the army with our limited Hebrew.

There were also lots of people that mixed up words:

  • Jesse: When I was in basic training I was constantly confusing zeah (sweat) for zerah (semen). This was especially problematic when asking for permission to change clothes because your shirt is full of zerah
  • Erez: Instead of saying “I am interested in your apartment,” I left a bunch of messages that translate to “I’m masturbating in your apartment.”
  • Miriam speaking to her boyfriend’s mom: “I tried to say that it was hot and we had perspired all night. But with my shaky Hebrew verb conjugation, what actually came out was: “Haya cham veziyanu kol halaila.” But what she actually meant to say was ““Haya cham vehezanu …”

See if your ONLY IN ISRAEL story can beat the ones that are already there for a chance to win $150! (Stories do not need to be only about Aliyah, but can be any story about Israel)

Contest for funniest Aliyah Story - no explenation7 copy

About the Author
Jessica Fishman moved to Israel from the US in 2003 and writes the Aliyah Survival Blog, an irreverent portrayal of life as an immigrant in Israel; Her new book, Chutzpah and High Heels: The Search for Love and Identity in the Holy Land, will be published soon
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