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Becoming a Citizen


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Freesoul
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« on: April 14, 2010, 05:12:30 am »

When my son told me a year ago he'd be getting married in Bat Ayin, we decided to not only come for the wedding, but make a leap of faith and stay. This is the modern version of "roughing it." In 1940, new olim (immigrants) had to either qualify for the limited number of slots permitted by the British Mandate, or get smuggled in past their patrols, perhaps fleeing certain death in Europe or bitter persecution elsewhere in the Middle East. Now, however, we only have to endure the Misrad Hapnim (Ministry of the Interior), known as the Miserable Panim (face) to those who have had the pleasure of navigating this wretched bureaucracy. After nine months of jumping through ever-shifting paper hoops and contending with sour-faced, tart-tongued clerks, we finally prevailed and became citizens of the Jewish State.

We are now waiting for our Sal Klita (government stipend for new olim), and hanging on in the interim. The first things to go were our exhausting, menial jobs. Now I am looking forward to: 1. Joining a kolel and studying Torah for as long as the money lasts; 2. Promoting my state-side friend Laura Deckelman's art work; 3. Using this breather to resume writing on a regular basis (prose polemics, as well as polishing a second novel and trying to get the first [United America: 2014 by "Ben Maxwell"] re-published in England [Publish America has North American rights, and they made a hash of the editing], and resuming poetic composition); 4. Mastering Arabic; and 5. Teaching my wife and seven-year-old son Hebrew. I also might learn how to drive and take up either the martial art Abir or Krav Mega. It has been too many years since I had the greatest luxury of all, leisure. I'll have to re-learn how to use it.
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