Shalom friends!

One more week has passed in the promised land.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my letter. Your letters are very needed, they give us warmth and help us get through hardships, that all new repatriates face.

Baruch haShem, the weather has softened, the sun does not burn so much anymore, and the nights are cooler, but we have yet to be spoiled by Israeli rains.

This is an amazing country! It always experiences the shortage of water, and yet it still blooms and acquires more oases.

The price on real estate has risen and, of course, this means the rent of apartments have also risen. But there is one interesting law: if you rent a flat for a long period of time (from 4 years and up), even 10 years, the owner will not raise the price of rent. This means if 10 years ago you signed a contract for 1500 shekels, then you continue to pay this much even though the price for this flat, for new tenants, might be 2500 shekels.

Today we received our identification cards, as citizens of Israel. What was amazing for us?

First, the whole process takes 10 minutes, and we don’t need to wait 20 business days.

Second, in the identification card, which is called teudat zeut, the date of birth is written according to the Jewish calendar. This is very interesting!

Third, the photograph what will be used in your identification card, you bring whichever photo you want, as long as it is yours and does not exceed the measurement of the card itself.

Before, everyone always told us to bring photos taken in a specific way, no smiling, no tilting of the head in any way, as if we are prisoners. Here the requirements are different.

In ulpan, we met people, whom we helped make aliya. They were very amazed and happy to met with people from their past. The 11th of October, Soxnut (Jewish Agency) is preparing to have a meeting with all people from Kazakhstan; we are invited.

The High Holy days have passed, in Israel it is called “the big break” because there were four holidays in a row. In my last letter I wrote about the holiday Sukkot.

I would like to talk a little about Simchat Torah. This is a wonderful day, when Jews celebrate the end of the reading cycle of the Torah and the beginning of the new cycle. The men take the scroll and dance with it, carefully passing on to each other. In the dance circle you will find the ultra orthodox, the traditional Jew (he is not so religious, but tries to keep the traditions and holidays. They are called “masoret”, you will recognize him by his kippa he wears, even though the rest of his clothes might be regular clothing), and also the mayor of the city. In which other country will you be able to find a mayor, even one from the smallest cities, that would publically rejoice that G-d had given the Torah? He is like King David, who would dance outside on the streets of his city, in front of those who elected him and his fellow citizens! History continues.

Oh Lord! how great You are and Your wisdom does not know boundaries, and Your love will show all nations the election of Israel! Baruch haShem!

In conclusion, I will tell you a story, which we were witnesses of today.

In Bank Leumi, which means “national”, there was a line of people. In front of us stood a man, very temperamental, he resembled a Latin-American. In Israel people are very inpatient, so you will meet very many who are not happy, but their unhappiness they open in a very wonderful Jewish manor, from which later your stomach hurts from laughter. He stands already 25 minutes, which is very rare here. In this department they only accept two people at a time. To enter it, is impossible, because there is an armed door. At last, the door opens, and an elderly couple walk out, they were about 80. Our impatient neighbor snapped at them with these words:

-What, you have that much money that you had to sit in there for a whole hour?!

But the elderly lady was not thrown off by that and answered:

-You want to change places with us?

You will only hear this in Israel.

Here, it looks like people don’t lose their sense of humor with their age.

In the evenings, you can see many elderly couples walking hand in hand. This is a very touching and sweet picture: two people walking hand in hand, bent by the weight of their old age, they walk, gently supporting each other.

By the way, Israel takes 2nd place in life-longevity, giving way only to the land of the Rising Sun.

May G-d let us live till this age, walking hand in hand with our life partner!

Be ezrat haShem!

With Love, Elena Falkovich

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