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Friday, November 14, 2003

So Far So Good

Dear Kumah!

Shalom everyone, sorry I have been so silent in the past few days since we made Aliyah. The reason is simply this - I have been so busy at work, which of course is a blessing in the Land of Israel. I am working for that media concern you may know well, Arutz Sheva - Israel National News. I am working for the English radio department and they have me doing all kinds of stuff from the highly technical to the highly mundane. In my short time here I have learned a ton. Malkah and I have been unable to do most of our bureaucratic business because of the government workers strike that has been going on for months. However, Malkah did enroll in Ulpan and she loves it. Malkah and I have not had the chance to see Israel yet and we haven't seen our own town - Beit El. This place is affluent, very pretty, and surrounded by Arabs. Abraham was here and Jacob famously dreamed here. Malkah and Yishai are starting here.

So far my slogan for figuring out life in Israel is: Nichye Ve'neer'eh (We Shall Live and We Shall See)

One thing that might excite you is my new idea for this radio station - I call it Jewish Campus Radio - that is, an internet radio show which will focus on American Jewish campus issues i.e. Birthright, Hillel events, fighting anti-Semitism, Israel programs, Jewish music scene, and obviously, Aliyah.

Do me a favor please - Give me some feedback about this idea and check out our radio station on the web and tell me what you think. There is an opportunity at this station to send out a message that matters. Your ideas are extremely valuable. Here is the site:

Upon my arrival I was immediately contacted by Kumites here in Israel who told me that we must get events going here in Israel for those who have already made Aliyah and are looking for like-minded and like-situated people. With G-d's help that is exactly what we will do. More info to come soon...

This Sunday is the begining of the United Jewish Communities General Assembly (GA) convention in Jerusalem. 4000 Americans will be here and so will we. A big rally is scheduled to raise the issue of Jonathan Pollard - may he be freed soon. Aliyah will also be an issue as will the future of American Jewry. I hope we can have some impact. If you would like to help Kumah this week at the GA, please get in touch.

This week's Torah portion clearly shows that there are times when one is tested. Abraham was tested to the utmost when G-d asked him to sacrifice his son. Moving to Israel is likewise a test - I have been amazed at how much Gashmiyus (mundane physicality) is involved in the fulfillment of this great Mitzvah. I am suddenly concerned about money issues, the purchase of this or that, space for junk, and all kinds of other issues. Its all smoke and mirrors. This is the place to be. As the driver of a hitchhiked ride told me - patience is the medicine for everything. And so is faith and trust in G-d.

Wishing you all the best and looking forward to seeing you,
Shabbat Shalom, Yishai


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