I will admit that I was a little excited when I saw the American flag on Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv. I mean, I love Israel and all - I didn't only make aliyah for shoko b'sakit - but it felt a little bit like going home when we walked in. I wasn't deterred by the Hebrew-speaking security guard outside the Embassy. ("Hey, buddy, this is AMERICAN soil you are standing on. Speak some English. Or at least Spanish.") I was superjazzed to go inside. I figured it would be like a little slice of America. You know, a Starbucks (one on either side of the room) and a mini-Target. Or at least some amber waves of grain.
But boy, was I wrong. Just a big room with chairs. No grain, amber or otherwise, and not a purple mountain or a fruited plain in sight. Sheesh.
The workers there did speak English - ours had a nice Brooklyn accent, to boot. So I felt better about that. After filling out the paperwork, we had to wait to meet with the consular representative, and you know what they had on TV? Were they showing some good old-fashioned American television, like Happy Days, or Friends, or an ER from the Doug Ross-Carol Hathaway heyday? Indeed not. It was an ISRAELI talk show about aruchat eser!
I mean, where's the American love here?
Luckily, everything went pretty smoothly. Thanks to my frequent and obsessive checking and rechecking, we had all of the necessary documents, passports, and babies. (Well, just the one.) The consular guy even said we had the cutest baby picture ever, and that he doesn't say this to any other parent. Lying? Probably, but always nice to hear validation about your cute kid.
Unfortunately, the only swag that Nadav scored after being made American was a little sticker that said, "Proud to be an American." I was hoping for a pack of baseball cards, or maybe a miniature mosque. Also, I worry that he now looks a little overweight.
The only hitch was the middle name. When we gave Nadav his middle name - Yam, after my grandmother Mary (Miriam) - we foresaw the sweet potato problem in English. Instead of "Yahhhhm" it would be pronounced, "Yeaahhmm." No problem, we figured, we'll just delete the middle name in English. No such doing, my friends. Whatever is written on the birth certificate is your name FOREVER and EVER. So he will be "NaDAV Yahm" in Hebrew, and "NAH-dahv Yeahhhmm" in English. Sorry, kiddo. Also, we apologize to you and to the future Mrs. Nadav Rose that you were not born in America because your children might have some difficulty getting American citizenship. In the spirit of these days of repentance, we hope you can forgive us.
And on that note, we at aliyahbyaccident wish you and easy and meaningful fast, or a meaningful and easy fast, depending how you swing. We hope you forgive us for our myriad transgressions, whether it was infrequent postings, inappropriate jokes, or the occasional use of mildly bad language. (Not that we necessarily plan on reforming; we'll probably be asking forgiveness for the same things next year.) But seriously, folks, have a gmar chatima tova and may we all be sealed in the Book of Good Things. Thank you, and God bless America.