Sunday, August 14, 2011

Aliyah Memories: 13 years later

This week marks the 13th anniversary BA”H of our aliyah, or to put it in blogspeak, our “aliyah bar mitzvah.”

In honor of the occasion, here’s one of the Shiputzim kids singing a bar mitzvah song:

I should explain that the young singer recorded the song to send to his/her grandparents in the States – about a year or so after we made aliyah.

And on a related note, less than three months after we arrived in Israel, a different one of the Shiputzim kids dictated the following email for the same American grandparents:

November 9, 1998

Dear Bubby and Zaidy,

I'm learning about aleph in gan.

I know some Hebrew words. Like I know "bayit," and I also know "eich korim lach?" That means: what's your name? And I also know "geshem," and I also know "at rotzah lesachek?" That means: do you want to play?

Let me tell you about my gan - what order it goes in.

First, we play a little bit. Then, we daven. Then, Morah talks. [Ed. note - “Morah” literally means “teacher,” but in Israel, the gannenet is never referred to as “Morah.”] Then, sometimes, we eat lunch first, and sometimes, also we first play a game.

Then, we go back to reekooz without our chair. “Reekooz” means circle time. Then after we do reekooz, we go to eat lunch. [Ed. note – Actually, they ate “aruchat esser” – literally, the “ten o’clock meal” – not lunch.]

Then after, all the boys go outside to play in the sandbox. The girls stay inside and play with the dolls.

Then when all the boys come in, then we go to do our projects. How projects is called is “yetzeerah,” and I also know that already.

After, if it takes too long, we go to get our knapsacks. What knapsacks are called is “teek,” and I also know that already. Then we go to sit on our chairs in reekooz.

Then after we sit down, we sing songs and then we go home. First we learn a little before we sing songs. After we sing songs, we go home.

I have to go to sleep now. Good night.



Have a great week!


  1. How adorable, I love that letter. No doubt that the writer is now totally bilingual.

  2. Very cute letter. Do your children talk to each other in English or Hebrew now? Or does it depend on the kids?

  3. happy aliya anniversary! may you continue to see the country with starry eyes!

  4. Haha! Cute song. I wonder how you got you son/daughter to let you post it. My children would never let me...

  5. Batya - No doubt that the writer is now totally bilingual.
    Very true! Actually, if you count Heblish, s/he is trilingual... :-)

    Ilana-Davita - Thanks. They almost always speak English to each other.

    Faith/Emuna - Thank you! What a beautiful brachah!

    Dvorah - LOL! The only reason s/he agreed was that now, about 12 years later, s/he doesn't sound anything like that anymore... :-)

  6. Happy aliyaversary! You brought back a lot of memories of when my kids were in gan and they came home to tell me about it in their Heblish.

    It also brought back gan memories of sitting in the itty bitty chairs. The day my youngest graduated from kindergarden I cried tears of joy that I would never have to sit in those chairs again.

    Here's to another 13 years of fun memories!

  7. Miriyummy - It also brought back gan memories of sitting in the itty bitty chairs.
    Years later, I still wince when I remember sitting - or rather, TRYING to sit - in one of those chairs during a gan party when I was in my last trimester... :-)


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