Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Aliyah Manifesto: Introductions 1 & 2

I have a lot of thoughts 

Shalom My Friends, Groupies, and Family Members who will not like this book,

This is my story of Aliyah. Why I did it, what I went through, what I am going through. These are the reasons for my move. I hope that by the end of the book, my parents will finally understand. This is not the whole story. The whole story would be way too long. That would include the hours of sleep.
I wake up at 4pm. After seven years in Israel, it is not jetlag. I blame it on jetlag. I do not want people thinking I am lazy. Jetlag is an excuse Olim use when they are not traveling. Excuses for getting out of work are a survival skill in Israel. Nobody wants to work, and it is important to be able to compete with excuses like, ‘I have done army service…I have been called up for three months…they are taking people out of retirement.’ This is how I write, because this is how I think. Everything is comes together at some point, but enjoy the rants and the side points, for it is the side points that are the truest thoughts I may share about Aliyah. And this book might not come together at all.
If you want to skip the introduction, do it now. It is long. I don’t want to frustrate you. I think it is brilliant and philosophical, but you want to read the book. So do it. Nobody is forcing you to stick in the roman numerals numbers. You can go to the real numbered pages; if it will make you feel like you are accomplishing more. Did you really finish the book if you didn’t read the introduction? I don’t know. You have to decide that. Maybe ask a friend what they think. Are you a quitter? I don’t know. Maybe you are and you are denying it. Are Roman numerals also numbers? Yes. They are just harder to write once you get past 7 or ‘v’ and two ‘i’s. I am going to get back to the philosophy of the explanation for the explanations in the story, or rant, or advice, or whatever this book about Aliyah is- The Manifesto.
The whole story would also include the restaurants I ate in. Though this is my book, I do not feel the need to give you every detail. I am not that egotistical. I know the details and they are not exciting. If I leave the details vague, you can imagine an exciting life, which I have, which is better than yours. The details that are shared are the emotions and a few of the experiences experienced before and during my first few years of Aliyah.
We all know how annoying it is to have to sit at a dinner with a detail talker, ‘I was born in 1935. It was a good year…They gave me a birth certificate. It had my date of birth…My mom’s name…she was a good woman. She raised me…I then went to…I didn’t know, I was only one month old…’ This story is going to take a long time. I know how documents work. We asked you how the grandkids are. Just answer the question! That is why I made it a point to leave out some details. Nonetheless, I didn’t leave out many.

I will take you thru the truth. I will not be selling Israel as a fun place. Israel is colorful and if you love life, then you might want to think about Aliyah. If you love people getting angry at you, then you might want to make Aliyah. If you love relaxation and stuff that makes sense, stay in America.
If it seems like I hate it, but that is why I am here. I like to complain. What you think I hate, is what I am connected with and love the most. I complain about what I love. I love Israel and the disorganized beauty. The same way my parents discuss me, because they love me. It is love that allows my parents to express the pride they have in me with words like ‘you suck.’
There will be an audio recording attached for those of you reading this book with no comedic timing.
I miss community and my life in America. You don’t make Aliyah because life is better. It is different.
In a time where people are moving to the land of their ancestry, I did it. It was between Israel and Far Rockaway, New York. It has nothing to do with trying to move away from family. I love my family and miss them. I miss being able to be at all the life cycle events, even if I do live in Israel and I cannot afford the gifts. I miss having people screaming at me. I need that warmth in my life. Being that I am single I do not feel the intimacy I need in my life. There have been some moments of intimacy. I dated an Israeli woman recently and she started reprimanding me on the first date. I was so excited, ‘This means I am in a relationship.’ Then she kept on yelling at me on the second and third date. By the fourth date, I realized that she wasn’t screaming at me with the same kind of love I get from the guy at the shuk- who I am now in a relationship with. I purchase my cucumbers from him and not her. And yes, the guy in the shuk is still screaming, because he cares about his sunflower seeds, unlike some.
Given, I do feel a lot of love when the guy at the makolet /bodega and my neighbors scream at me for not being them. I should throw out the trash they leave in the hallway.

The realization that I must move to Israel took place in my parents’ home at 3am. I was watching TV. My dad came down ‘David- why are you watching TV, it is 3am?’ Because I can! I knew that it was 3am, because it was 3am. All I could think to respond was ‘I am old enough- I can do things I want, I can eat a hamburger right now. Hell, I am making Aliyah.’
My Aliyah is about love and family and true search for what is important in this world. Connection to my people and where I belong. No matter how painful it is to be an immigrant- which I am. It is the fact that I am old enough. It is time to make decisions that will be detrimental. Time to make life meaningful and I hope I am on that path… as many have dreamed and many are fulfilling. I have to be in Israel. I have no choice. I did university and there is something inside of me that says that it should not have been that expensive.
My parents did not make a mistake or raise me wrong. They raised me Jewish. And yes, this is my manifesto. This is my message to all.
The audience for this book: you! moving to Israel, and you! anti-Semitic self-hating Jew not moving to Israel, and you! non-Jews who are going to hell unless you buy this book and support the holy writings of David Kilimnick. If you are one of those people who like to fight people giving orders, buy it if you want to.
It is The Aliyah Story, because we all had it in our own way. All of us who have moved to Israel have had our internal fight as to the price we should be paying for the cucumbers in the shuk/market. All of us have had our internal debate as to whether or not we should just take the TV, even though it is crooked, because the guy that installed it said it is not crooked; sitting right next to the washing machine in the living room, because the guy didn’t want to go through the hassle of installing it in the bathroom and said that it looks just fine next to the Picasso, if we just cover it with a cloth. All of us have flown ELAL, and like Aliyah, I shall not disguise it with cloth. Cloth being the metaphor.

I have more to say

You will misunderstand what I write and think I am ‘anti,’ ‘anti’ everything. You are wrong. Read between the lines; there is a lot of positive sentiment there. They are just not written. This is a manifesto about a society I love. As love has taught me, as shared to me by my parents and shared to them by their parents, true love can only be expressed through ridicule. If I am complaining, that is because I love it. There will be complaining. There it is, the first thing I have repeated.
OK. You know something. Take offense. You are so touchy feely. Calm down and do something with your life, instead of trying to pretend like you feel bad for everybody else. They don’t even feel bad, so enjoy making fun of them. ‘Oh, I can’t believe it. Somebody has an opinion.’ Yes, B”H (for those of you Jewish and religious and frum- five percent of the people reading this), finally somebody cares about something enough to talk honestly about it, you careless person who doesn’t understand that people move to Israel because it is colorful. It isn’t perfect, but I, the Anglo, am trying to make it more like an ancient Germanic tribal culture. If you are angry at me for my love of Israel and this book that will probably help more people in their Aliyah and help people decide to make that move to a country ever trying to be better- which keeps on making it worse in its attempts, please protest. Please complain about the book. That is called advertisement.
The truth is raw.

Let me begin by saying that Aliyah is not for people from the USA. Aliyah is for people from 3rd world countries and France. They figured, ‘People in France want to kill us, because we are Jewish. Let’s move to the Middle East… A lot safer.’ You do what you have to do for safety. And that was irony, so please read between the lines. If you didn’t get that, then this book is going to be hard. Relax with the book and see what is being said, by letting it speak to you. I am a bad writer, but the thoughts are there, and it can be really funny if you like typos. So develop a sense of humor. I am not saying that was the greatest joke you will ever read. However, there should be more laughs for you in this book.
Truth is that I made Aliyah because I was from Rochester, NY. I love Rochester, but it is cold, and older Jews move someplace warmer and change their name to Bernie. I figured. I can move to Jerusalem and live with Americans. Or, I can move down to South Florida and live with Israelis. What is an Israeli, I don’t know. There are so many different societies that have moved to Israel over the years. The only way I can describe an Israelis are, ‘people Olim complain about when they move to Israel.’ They can also be described as ‘people who moved away from Israel and started a moving business, and then started selling Dead Sea lotions in a mall.’ There are many more reasons taken into account in Aliyah, and we will get into them. One other major reason I moved to Israel is, Rochester’s company, Kodak, has not been doing well and I wanted to get out of there before they started blaming it on the Jews.
As you go through the book, I want you to count how many different reasons I give for my Aliyah. Kind of like a Highlights exercise. I love those books, they are entertaining and it is always more educational when there is an exercise involved. Since third grade, I have not had as many exciting experiences as I had finding stuff in a magazine, that isn’t Waldo.
It is amazing how the reasons change from year to year, activity to activity, page to page. I made Aliyah before Obama became president. Thus, I have different reasons.

To my dear reader, no matter who you are, you will walk away enlightened as to the inner workings of Israeli society, phrases, and educated as to the views of a new immigrant. The one great difference between the Oleh immigrant to Israel and an immigrant to any other country is that once the Oleh debarks the plan, the Oleh feels they have the right to complain. And we do have the right to complain, because we moved here for a better spiritual life and worse financial life. And we the people from the first world countries know better. And we love telling everybody we know better; we come from the land that created cable television, fast food, hula hips and nuclear weaponry. We have the right to complain and that is the beauty. We are moving home. And at home you can complain. An immigrant from Mexico to the US may not complain. They have the right to work, if it is not reported. What kind of immigrant has the chutzpe to think they can come someplace and then tell them how to run it? The immigrant who is coming back home.

Do not worry, no research has been done for this book. No quotes. For the concerned, this book is extremely non-educational.

And if any of you crazy Olim who were inspired by the supernatural to make Aliyah, or come from a third world country and love the fact that milk comes straight from a bag so that you don’t have to see the cow while drinking it, get mad at me for sounding anti-Israel- I am not. I am living here, so go ‘Titchadesh yourself.’ If you haven’t moved here yet, I will say it- move here. Yes, I will be that person who hounds you on your next visit, ‘Are you staying? Are you staying?...’ I will ask it more than twice. You don’t just visit Israel, you come and think about staying. That is how we welcome visitors. We make them feel very uncomfortable for not giving up their lives overseas. When you visit Israel, it is not a vacation. When you visit Israel, it is a chance for you to feel like less of a Jew for living in a society where shopping is easy. More reasons for Aliyah already?! For you? OK. Free education, free healthcare, no Israelis. Yes, the people you complain about are just not Americans, but they are not Israelis. Maybe some are. But most have moved to LA.
If I repeat myself in this book, it is because I spent many years in Yeshiva and the concept of Chazara/repetition in learning is very important. I want you to remember what I write, because it is important. It is also because of bad editing and good negative emotions coming out in rant form, more than once, which makes me feel real good. I am getting a load off my back.
I should not be editing my own work. My English writing skills are quite poor. That is what they told me at Yeshiva University. That is how bad my skills were; even Yeshiva University thought they were bad. I blame it on my high school. I blame everything on my high school. It makes life a lot easier to have something to blame it on. It is this poor writing and communicating which is the reason why I moved to Israel. Now, I still have a hard time interacting with people; I still can’t communicate effectively in English, and I still have not learned Russian. We’ll use that Russian Oleh joke genre a few more times in this book. Maybe we’ll even mask it with French. I will tell you this, I am sick of people asking me why I haven’t moved to Israel yet. I live in Jerusalem and that should count for something.

And you religious guys, enjoy the book. I will get you the rabbi letters if you need. If I am running short on pages, I will put the haskamot (letters of approval) in the book, to make it longer.

When I made Aliyah, I took my mishpuchi/family with me. All the mishpuchi who never made it to Israel. All the mishpuchi who prayed every day for the redemption, so they could enter Israel. All the family that is still in the diaspora, watching a Jewish Nation rise again. They are all with me. This is all figurative and metaphysical talk. I did not take my parents with me, and many of my siblings still reside in the US of A. It is important that I have my share of financial backing. You are with me at heart. I love you and I am looking forward to the next time you bring me a laptop. I understand it is hard to smuggle in desktops and I am sorry for that time you got held up at customs.
To quote Begin in a misquoted way. As I read at the Begin Museum, ‘No, no I will not return to you Brisk…but you are with me in all that I do.’ How right! And I am going to quote this a few more times, so you and me understand what it means.

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