Yom Shlishi, 24 Kislev 5768/4 December 2007, Tuesday.
As we approach the lighting of the first candle of Chanukah this year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. To Hashem, for allowing us to be here, as a family, and also as a nation. To those early gevurim, who answered "Whoever is for G-d, follow me!" with a resounding cheer. To the rabbi of this little community, for approving everything, individually, that goes into the makolet. To my husband and sons, for being brave enough to leave "the 'hood." To all those Israeli shopkeepers, for filling their shops with fresh sufganiot and brightly-colored packages, to remind me that this is OUR country. To the kids from Bar Ilan a few years ago, who brought the world's attention to the destruction being perpetrated under Har HaBayit. To those same young people, who are continuing to do something about it.
There are many other things about which to be grateful; but these are a few that come to mind at the moment.
Every task is quaintly different here. I sponga my floors, instead of vacuuming my rugs. I hang my clothes with clothespins on a metal and rubber rack, to air-dry them, when the weather permits. (They smell wonderful!) Avi and I shlep our agalot (cloth-covered wheeled carts) to the makolet, to buy groceries. We have gotten very clever about putting them in the under-belly of the 164 bus, and shlepping them to Malcha Mall, for larger shopping. We are managing fairly well without a car. I scrape the water off of my countertops with a little squeegee, when I am finished washing dishes. My stove has two ovens: one is for milchigs, and one is for fleishigs. I can bake in them simultaneously, with Rabbinic certification that there will be no "cross-contamination," no breach of the halacha against mixing meat and milk. I am having a wonderful time in my Jewish and Israeli home!