Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Hopefully things are starting to get back to normal, I managed to stay awake last night for ball, which wasn't easy. I had a slurpeee, my first one since I got back, I felt I needed the sugar to keep my up. I got home a little after 11, showered and collapsed in bed. I was able to sleep till around 7:00, I was told that Sammy and Nat still got up pretty early and Jonah was up around 6:30. Slowly things are getting back to normal.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

So tired

It's 8:30 and I'm exhausted, but I have to stay up to play ball tonight. Nat is sleeping, so I'm bored and tired. Getting up before 5 is killing me. Tomorrow I sleep in :)

Monday, November 26, 2007


Yesterday some kid knocked on my door ,with his hoe, and asked if I wanted him to rake my lawn. I told him I didn't need it done and he left.

This morning when I took Jonah to Gan I noticed that in place of my rake, was the hoe, the little bastard stole my rake and left his crappy hoe...

Jet lag sucks

Since we came back we haven't been up past 9 and slept past 4:45 AM.

Friday night Nat and Jonah were both before I finished davening, so I ate dinner alone and then went to sleep. We all woke up around 3:30, being it was shabbos we couldn't even put on a video for Jonah. We played for almost 6 hours before heading to shachris!!!

Saturday night Jonah fell asleep about a half hour before Shabbat ended, Nat and I were determined to stay up later so we could start to get normal. Friends of ours were in from out of town, they stopped by for a little bit. I felt like crap by 8:00 so I went to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and threw up a lot. It was disgusting, It was also weird to go to sleep on Saturday night, sleep for a few hours wake up and Saturday Night Live still hasn't started. We stayed up for a while cleaning up and what not. Jonah got Nat up around 4 something, but I stayed in bed, sick all day.

Sunday night Jonah stayed up till about 7, Nat went to sleep around 8:05 and I fell asleep around 8:30, Jonah still woke us up 4:45.

The only positive thing about this is we can slowly reprogram Jonah so that his bedtime will be at a normal time.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Home sweet home

we're home

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sammy goes Bonk....and other sad stories

We went to Geula/Maeh Shaerim today to do some shopping, it was cold and rainy. At one point, Sammy was was miserable due to the cold. Nat went into a hat store, so I picked Sammy up to warm his freezing hands and feet. Nat came back out, I put him back in and we crossed the street. and started heading back to town to get a cab. As I went over a curb I realized that his blanket had fallen off and was under the stroller, when I looked down, Sammy wasn't in the stroller either. He was lying flat on his face on the street. He tried to escape, but he stumbled, and fell.

He wasn't happy about that at all, he smacked his head and nose into the ground. Luckily, there was no damage as far as we know. We had to keep him awake for two hours, which was tough because he kept falling asleep. He cried a lot,. and the nice in teh store next to where he fell helped us out, got ice, and assured Nat and I that he was OK.

We finally got in a cab, and went home. We got out of the cab and Nat said "You have teh camera , right?". I didn't, I took it off teh stroller so we we wouldn't lose it, and must have forgotten about it, because I was preoccupied with Sammy.

I ran down the street, like a crazy man, but it was too late, I don't know which cab company it was, I didn't get a receipt or a phone number So as of now, there will be no pictures posted from our trip. :(

Just to keep the mood low, as I walked to shul it started pouring, and when I came home, Nat said that she lost an earring somewhere.

I thought maybe this was G-d punishing us for skipping Thanksgiving, but so far no one has agreed with me. I think it's just time for us to come home.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Wild Wild West

Shabbat on the West Bank was as exciting as I imagined there were at least 3 shootouts that we saw, and who knows how many that we didn't see. It was just like the old days of the USA, with cowboys and indians.

In reality, we had a very nice shabbat in Ariel, at no point did I feel insecure or unsafe. Friday night we ate by a guy from Montreal who moved to Ariel about 8 years ago. Shabbat Lunch we ate by a family ( The Urims) who spent a few years in Detroit with the Kollel Torah M'tzion, After Lunch we all went to the park and the kids were able to run around.

The other couples seemed really nice, we got to know them a little bit, one of couples is ready to move there right away, and we seemed to get along in the short time we hung out.

The Montreal guy drove us back to Modiin, and he took the back roads and got us home in about a half hour.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

part 2 if the trip is done

The main pilot trip part of our trip is done. We saw most of the places that we wanted to see, liked some of them, didn't like others, couldn't afford most. We returned our car today, so we have a week with no car, which should be a challenge, but hopefully we'll manage.

We went to Rechovot today, a good friend of mine from back in the day has a pizza shop there, so we went there for lunch and to hang out. From there we spent about a half hour at a nice little zoo/park. Then we returned the car and met Nat's aunt and cousin in Rishon L'tzion for dinner. They drove us back to Modiin.

Tomorrow we head to Ariel, we have to take two trains, which should make Jonah happy, he's a big fan of trains. There are 3other American families and my brother and sister in law that are checking out Ariel this shabbat, so it should be a fun time. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Today may turn out to be one of the more important aspects of the trip. I met two recent Olim (recently moved to Israel) in marketing and advertising and asked them for advice on the job market, salary, language.

Before that happened we to visit my brother at his office and have lunch there. It was pretty cool, Kosher food at work, lots of choices and huge servings. I had noodles with meat and some vegetables.

The meetings were productive, both people had some advice, said that there are jobs available and that a month or so before I come I should send them my resume and they can forward it along to people in their companies and others people they know who I may want to work for.

After that we went to see a nice city called Zur Yigal/Cochav Yair. Zur Yigal is where the younger community lives, the people we met were really nice, they showed us around, very nice place. We probably won't move there but it was a nice place anyways.

Vacuuming food

I taught Jonah how to play Vacuum with with Croutons the other day. Fro those of you who don't know how to play Vacuum, it's pretty simple, you put the croutons (little yellow dots for soup) on the table, place your mouth a little above the dots and suck in, and the dots come into your mouth.

I showed Nat this game when we were dating, and spending shabbat at my brothers house and no doubt this is why she thought I was so awesome and married me.

Back to nowadays, she didn't think that it was a good game to teach Jonah, and its not so safe, since the crouton can go down the wrong tube, so I told him to stop. This morning he was eating Trix for breakfast, and he calls out, Dad I'm gonna vacuum these.

I couldn't stop laughing as I was filled with pride that he remembered what I taught him, But then Nat and I had to tell him t stop, which was tough for me, because I was laughing. But I manned up and told him to stop because it was dangerous.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Yesterday we went to check out a city called Ariel, we were a little skeptical about it going because of it's location, On the other side of the dreaded Green Line, but it was recommended to us, so we went.

It was nothing like I imagined, the whole time I was driving, I kept watching the road for a green line, but I didn't see it. We took the highway right to Ariel, seemed like driving anywhere else. Although on way to the main gate we did see a dude on a donkey, but to his credit he didn't open fire or throw rocks on our car.

Ariel was much different than either me or Nat expected, it was really nice, lots of people, a nearly accredited university that has around 20,000 students. Places to eat, parks for the kids, sports to play, located near big cities for jobs, just about everything you need. And most importantly, affordable housing.

There aren't as many Americans as I would like but there is a major push to bring more in, I just spoke with the guy who showed around (his job is to bring in North Americans) and he said there were be a couple of families spending this Shabbat there, so we are going to spend Shabbat there.

I have some reservations, the possibility that it may be given away, although the people I spoke with, who have no real knowledge- just opinions, said it's too big a city to be given away. But then again, Jerusalem may be given away, so who knows what will happen. Some members of my family said they didn't think they would visit such a dangerous part of the country, but hopefully, if we would move there, that would change. or it would be very sad.

Today I meet some people in Marketing and I'll see what the job market is like and that good stuff.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The food

We have eaten out most of our meals, and for those who care here is the breakdown.

Huge majority is pizza, we have gotten from all sorts of places, the most unique was in Modiin called Giant Pizza, and they had huge slices, maybe a foot in length, maybe more, I didn't measure, but trust me, this was a tall slice of pizza.

I've eaten Shawarma twice, once in Tzfat and once in Tel Mond

Burger Ranch in Tel Aviv -

Chinese food in teh Mall in Jerusalem

Three home cooked meals at my brother and sister in laws - Burgers and dogs, macaroni and lasagna, and Chicken or Turkey burgers I forget which one.

A BBQ up north at my other brother and sister in laws house.

Maybe I'll update this again before we leave, any suggestions for a variety would be appreciated.

and so it begins

Today we started the pilot trip portion of our trip. Went up to see Pardes Chana and Tel Mond.
In Pardes Chana we met with a real estate agent and she drove us around the neighborhood, took us into a new house that hasn't been finished yet, a grocery store, and told us about teh community. She was very nice, but the neighborhood isn't at all what we are looking for.

Next we went to Tel Mond, from what we had read it was the place we wanted to live, between Netanya and Raanana, nice mix of people. We also heard that it was really expensive and we couldn't afford to live there, a common thing we hear about most of the places we look at. We got there on time fro lunch found a shawarma and falafel place, which tasted great, 2 points for them.

While we were in the restaurant Jonah had to use the bathroom, while I was helping him, my Kippa fell into the toilet, so I had to leave my kippa behind, lucky for me I had a Tigers hat in the car. Also while we were in the restaurant my cell phone died.

Back to the point, we walked into the house of the person we contacted and it was beautiful, huge 7 bedrooms, spacious, and I knew that what everyone had told us was true. The people we met with were very nice, they had recently moved from Woodmere, NY , in fact their lift came while we were there.

They also drove us around, showed us the schools and shuls and all that good stuff. But the feeling we had was it's a nice dream but barring a miracle we won't be living there. Then we headed back to Modiin.

Since I didn't have a cell phone, see above, I couldn't call my brother or sister in law for return directions, and we may not have taken teh best route back, and then got a little lost when we arrived in Modiin, but we made it back on time for dinner.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Kotel

We finally made it to the Kotel on Friday. I was telling Jonah why it was special and that people come from all over to ask Hashem for things, and I showed him all the papers in the wall. He wanted some paper, which I didn't have. SO i asked him what he wanted to ask Hashem, and he thought and said. I want Hashem to be nice to Aiden, Joey and Noa.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Today was kids day, we went a kibbutz called Tzuba, they have this great park for kids called KifTzuba. There were several different moon bounces, bumper cars, motorized bikes for kids, around a track, a maze, and a bunch of other cool stuff. We stayed there for about 6 hours and the kids all had a great time.

It’s been a tough trip for the kids, because there is no structure, and we’re always doing stuff, so this was great for them and us.

Then we met my sister in law and kids at the mall for dinner, I thought it was cool to eat food in the food court, we could all order from different places, and eat what we want. I had Chinese, Nat had Thai, Jonah had USA (burger king) and my nieces and nephews had pizza.

In the evening, we got two seminary girls to baby-sit, friends of my cousins, and all the families separated for the evening. Nat and I met my friend and his wife at a bar/ restaurant, and we hung out for a while.

The kids all stayed hung out and watched a movie. When we got back to the hotel Jonah was the only kid sleeping, which was extra nice for us.

I think the plan is to go to the old city tomorrow, and there may be a 5AM wake up and go to Merat hamachpela and kever rochel, bit I’m thinking of passing, and Nat may go, but nothing has been decided.

The Cigarette

We were leaving the hotel on our way to Sheva Brochus on Wednesday night, as we were leaving we noticed a strong cigarette smell. Since that is the official smell of Israel it didn’t bother me to much. The problem was after we got in the car and started to drive, the smell didn’t go away.

After a few minutes of driving Jonah told us that there is smoke coming out of the door. Nat turned to look and sure enough, the car was smoking. I quickly pulled over, Nat opened the door, but did not see the cigarette, she did not want to put her hand somewhere and burn it. I got out of the car stuck my hand in the side pocket of the door, and there it was.
Our guess is that while that door was open, as Nat was putting Jonah in his seat someone must have tossed it in, and it landed in the pocket

The Wedding

My sisters wedding was very nice, she is no longer a Zacks, but yet, still has control over the Zacks Loop :0

One of the cooler things was all the nieces and nephews who were old enough learned a song to sing, they had practiced a bunch of times while we were up north. Most of the kids had solos, Jonahs main job was to hold up a sign that had all the words to the song, but he also sang along, during the course of the practice sessions he learned all the words. Sadly, He did not get a solo.

Monday, November 05, 2007

We are pretty much done with the first phase of our trip, tomorrow morning we leave the North and head south for Jerusalem.

Jonah was homesick today for the first time crying that he wanted to go home and play with his toys. Next door neighbors, if you're still reading this he sends regards to his best friend if you could pass that along. I told him that we'd try and call today, but by the time we got home from our activities he was busy with other stuff.

Today we went to the Marzipan factory, not the awesome rugelach you find in the Shuk in Jerusalem, but the almond candy most people don't eat, but looks like cool stuff. It's like play Doh, they sculpt it, they had some cool stuff on display, life size heads of political people in Israel and other cool scenes and what-not. At the end of the presentation kids all hot a few pieces of different colors and they got to make fun things. Jonah enjoyed himself, and I was able to doze off and nap for a few minutes.

You can tell they don't taste good (they are made of an almond and sugar paste) because if they did, people would eat them instead of treating it like play-doh.

We capped off our Northern stay by having a BBQ. Tomorrow night is my sisters wedding, not sure if I'll have time to blog.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday fun

Today was another jam packed day.

The drive to our first stop was through the mountains of the Galil, my niece threw up, and my wife felt really nauseous, it was a pretty horrible drive, but we all survived.

Our bike riding plans fell apart because it was to hot outside, but we still went to the Israeli version of the Grand Canyon, instead of bikes we took a train. Most of us got out at the second of three stops and walked 1 KM to the next stop where the bus picked us up. We were the only ones of my siblings who brought out stroller onto the train, so we were in high demand. Jonah started out in the stroller, but was bribed into walking. After a few minutes of running with his cousin's for a few minutes he decided he wanted his stroller. Unfortunately for him, his cousin had fallen asleep, and we weren't going to wake him. So I ended up carrying him the last 3rd of the walk. Which he didn't seem to enjoy.

After the Canyon, which my dad said was a created by a large iceberg sweeping through the area millions of years ago , we headed for Tzfat.

Tzfat was nice, I've been there several times, but this was the first time we entered in the modern Tzfat and headed up to the old city. I knew there was a city there, just never saw it, so that was kinda cool. Everything else was pretty much the same, cool synagogues and the artist quarter. We ended our day by eating dinner, I finally had Shwarma in a laffa, and it was well worth the wait,

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Sahbbat was fun, and tiring. Friday night the kids all came to Shul and played in the playground. After Shul we all went to dinner.

I was still exhausted, so I went to sleep when we got home, around 9:30. Nat woke me at around 12:30 to tell me that both kids were awake, so I got Jonah back to sleep and tried to sleep, but Sammy wouldn't go to sleep. Finally I told Nat to sleep, and I would play with a wide awake Sammy.

I don't know how Sammy will get on a schedule, because he can nap whenever he wants, so he's still on Michigan time.

We played downstairs for a bit, and then he seemed tired, so we went back upstairs but he didn't care much for that. Finally around 1:30 I decided we were taking a walk, so off we went and it worked, he fell asleep.

Shabbat day was really nice, Jonah has adjusted to his cousins, so he was out playing with them all day long. I don't think he stopped running all day long. His cousins are pretty cool also, he's is the youngest of the 11 that can play, and they treat him as one of the gang.

My brother who lives in Maalot has been selling us on living here, he told us we should tell our friends to move her, Doc and O's fan he mentioned you guys specifically. But I'd say us living here is a long shot, but still a possibility

Saturday night we had a long walk planned, from Rosh Hanikra to Nahariya, but that didn't happen, we went straight to Nahriya, hung out on the boardwalk and had pizza. Lots of hanging around time.

Tomorrow we're off to a bike ride in the Israel version of the Grand Canyon and then Tzfat.

Friday, November 02, 2007

We made it

Greeting from Israel, after the two , which seemed lie one, longest days in history we made it to my bothers.

Wednesday afternoon, me brother my wife and 4 id s plus me Nat and Jonah and Sammy packed into a 15 seater van, along with our 13 huge suitcases and treked to the airport. The first flight wasn't that exciting I played scrabble with my dad, and Yaakov and Devorah, I lost. We got into Atlanta and got onto our pane to Israel. The flight left around 11:00. PM, Jonah wanted to watch a video the minute we walked on the plane, but I told 
him he had to sleep first, which surprisingly he did.
My viewing pleasure was Shrek the third, Surf's up, Oceans 13 and knocked up. I also watched a few TV shows, I 'm hoping for a better selection on 
the way home.
I didn't get to sleep much on the plane because I had between 1 and 3 people 
sleeping on me at all times. Jonah slept most of the flight, sammy was OK, but 
very squirmy, and Nat behaved well also.
We got to Israel, exhausted at 4;30 Israel time, the sun was going down and Jonah was very confused, because he only recently woke up. We got our rental cars, packed up and after a long delay left the airport for Netanya, where we went to Pizza hut and had dinner. while we were eating there were several large explosions and we all dove for cover. Then we realized that it was fireworks over the ocean, and we watched. Finally we headed to my brothers up North, it was a long two hour drive, we got a bit lost and that added some extra time. The last 45 minutes was windy drive up and down mountains.

Last night was probably the worst night ever, Jonah slept in the car on the way to Netanya and then on the way to Maalot, so he was pretty jet lagged. Nat and I were totally exhausted. We got into bed around 1:00 and Jonah started screaming that he anted the lights on, this lasted a while and then we finally gave in. Didn't hep, he found something to scream as loud as he could until 3:30 AM when he went to sleep.

I think we are just hanging round today, maybe taking a nice nature walk, that's being discussed now.

Shabbat Shalom.