First of all, a huge shout-out and welcome to Kalany "Kally" Rubin "Rubin" Kislowicz, our 23rd Loyal Reader! Kally, in a Facebook Confessional, admitted that she started to read the blog a few weeks ago, curious about our aliyah story, but then had to stop because the posts I had written immediately after we arrived were making her stressed out! Whatever can you mean? Could it be signing up for school, a bank account, and a kupah, renting a car, finding a gan, tracking down our wayard lift, all in one day, to be followed by a frigid shower and sleeping on an air mattress? Come on, that's not stressful - that's ADVENTURE! However, Kally did say that she has started reading the more recent posts, which she finds more calming and does not need to read with a paper bag handy. However, Kally, I do recommend that you go back and read the entire story. First of all, there are some fabulous encounters with nurseries (the plant kind, not the baby kind), my inability to speak Hebrew (too many to link to), elections and of course, my now-infamous driving test. Second of all, reading the blog in its entirety now will save you the $22.95 cover price of the book, "Aliyah By Accident," when it comes out in hardcover, at a Fantasy Book Store near you.
Now, back to our blog. Loyal Readers, raise your hands! Rachel? Rachel? I don't see you raising your hand. Ahhh...that's because you STILL haven't joined the Loyal Readers' Club. And after I dedicated an entire post to you! We are on a mission, Rachel. Join us!
Aruchat Eser. The meal at 10. In reality, aruchat eser can be eaten at any point in the morning at school. The idea behind aruchat eser is that it's a light snack (sandwich - must be bread, and a fruit/vegetable, and NOTHING ELSE) during the school day, to tide the kids over until they get home, where a huge fleishig meal awaits them. Except if you're Ariella Rose, and you come home to a yogurt. Because, folks, I am still an American at heart, in some important ways, one of those ways being DINNER. Yogurt and a cucumber does not suffice for the evening meal. This means that Yaakov, who is fed the aforementioned huge fleishig meal at gan, often eats shnitzel, or meatballs, or hamburgers, twice a day. But being a true man, this makes him happy.
In any case, I just finished preparing Ariella's aruchat eser. This is a challenge for me. Since infancy, Ariella has had lunch provided for her by the Five Star Caterers at SAR. I never had to worry about packing a lunch, what to make for lunch, what do you want for lunch, I don't like this lunch, Mommy, can't I just take two candy bars and an orange (a la my brother Aaron, who took this actual lunch one day to school. The same brother who is now officially a RABBI at the prestigious KJBS Congregation in Chicago, mazel tovs all around, and now we are soooo off topic that I can't remember what the topic was, except that I'm hungry, so I must have been talking about food. Ah yes, there we go.) So, lunch was never an issue, is what I'm saying. Here, it took us seven months to find an aruchat eser that Ariella will deign to eat. And of course it can't be something simple and spreadable, like chummus, or peanut butter (which is allowed at schools here; allergies haven't made it to Israel yet. We're very behind, which explains the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I see on underwear for kids.) She would happily eat a chocolate spread sandwich, but since in Israel we don't even pretend to add vitamins and minerals to our unhealthy foods, she is only allowed that once a week. So a toasted cheese sandwich it is. Kudos to our sandwich maker, purchased that fateful day in Sheshet with Jenny Sassoon. Every night, I slice some cheese for Ariella - only sliced, Mommy, BIG pieces, not grated - and place it with a frozen pita in the fridge. The next morning, the pita has defrosted. I squeeze ketchup - ewwww - into the pita, place the cheese inside, and melt that baby down. Yes, folks, aruchat eser is a two-step process in this household. But at least it gets eaten. And now, speaking of eating, I am going to enjoy our hot, fleishig dinner which we are eating AT NIGHT. Not a yogurt in sight.