The Little Gifts: Part 4 of our Aliyah Journey

Last time, I shared the woes of our moving journey. This time, I’d like to share some of the gifts. Living in Israel is challenging, but all of the negative experiences make us REALLY appreciate the positive ones. Let me share some examples:

  1. An Amazon package just arrived at our front door. Wow. In America, this is a regular occurrence. In Israel, it is a rare gift. Usually, the delivery people call and you have to go downstairs to collect the package (if you understand what they’re saying, of course). But sometimes, it’s more complicated than that. Just last week, a delivery man called me when he couldn’t find the apartment, and Aryeh and I both embarked on a wild goose chase trying to find him. You can’t take anything for granted in this country, especially receiving Amazon packages.
  2. The salesperson at the appliance store told me NOT to buy the expensive dryer. He said it wasn’t necessary; the cheaper model would do. I was shocked because most salespeople simply want to make the biggest profit. He wanted us to have a good experience and was exceptionally patient and kind. At the end of the transaction, he even complimented my American manners and translated key words on the receipt for me. When you have experience with Israelis trying to rip you off, dealing with an honest person is a huge gift. If you’re ever shopping for appliances, I highly recommend going to Lior Electric in Talpiot and asking for Dolev. You won’t be disappointed!
  3. Our apartment’s landlord AND the former tenants speak English! This is a major gift because they’ve helped us navigate the new apartment and switch utilities into our name (who knew it was such a process). Our landlord really cares about the apartment and is SO on top of things. She’s probably the most responsive, detail-oriented person I’ve ever met (besides myself). We’re in awe at how patient they are with us and our limited Hebrew as we navigate Israeli service people, deliveries and more. People say everyone in Jerusalem speaks English—it’s NOT true. Every English speaker feels like an angel sent from heaven, especially the people most critical to our home.
  4. The Internet salesperson called me back to ask if a technician can come tomorrow morning to fix our Internet. Tomorrow MORNING. She originally said to call the Internet company this afternoon and ask them to fix the Internet over the phone. Afterward, she realized the language barrier might be hard for us and decided the best option was to send a technician tomorrow morning. She then went to the extra effort to call me back and let me know! After weeks of struggling to set up the utilities in our new home, this gift came as a welcome surprise. Good Israeli customer service DOES exist!
  5. We have a new neighbor who just made Aliyah from Canada! In an apartment of primarily Israelis, we are SO grateful that our new neighbor speaks English and understands our Aliyah struggles. At the end of a hectic week, it was a huge gift to meet a fellow “Anglo” right across the hall (In Israel, all English-speakers are called “Anglos”). She also practices holistic medicine and has an incredibly positive mindset. She suggested we focus on what we’re grateful for each day. This article is a manifestation of her advice!

Living in Israel has many other gifts, like the neighborhood minyan (prayer group) on our street and the endless kosher food to eat. I’m sure we will have much more to share, so stay tuned for Part 5 of our Aliyah Adventures!

About the Author
Manya Ronay is a health writer and educator who recently made aliyah with her husband, Aryeh. She graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in journalism in 2019 and is currently pursuing her MS in Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida.
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