The State Department Makes Me Puke

Here’s what they have to say about last night’s murder – which, by the way, left four orphans.

“We extend our condolences to the victims’ family. We urge all sides to maintain calm, avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this tragedy, and work together to bring the perpetrators to justice,”

Yeah. Seriously.

The murder is *because* of the escalation. There were *four* terror attacks yesterday.

“You hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.” Maybe, but you also see no reason for us to step up our tactics to prevent future attacks. All that’s important to you is the plight of these poor “Palestinian” murderers.

Oh, and by the way? The cliche, standard, automatic response is REALLY not appropriate here.

My friend and her husband were killed. There are now four orphans – orphans who watched their parents’ murder.

And all you can say is, “Please don’t hurt the poor ‘Palestinians’ who teach, encourage, incite, and perpetuate this kind of cold-blooded murder, this kind of violence, this kind of genocide, this kind of cruelty.

Please. It’s not their fault that they are murderers and teach their children to be murderers. Please, be nice to them . . . even if it means allowing them to kill parents in front of their children, even if it means killing innocent children in cold blood.”

Shut up and go to Azazel.

May G-d avenge the blood of all those murdered in terror attacks. And may all the terrorists be blinded and misled, and start killing each other until there are none of their kind left.

Amen, selah.

How Many Murders Are Enough?

Today there have been four – four – terror attacks.

Stones were thrown this morning. A mother and baby were lightly injured. Thankfully, they didn’t need to be hospitalized.

A terrorist tried to run into a bus, and when the bus stopped, to shoot the passengers. It didn’t work, so he attacked an army tank as second-best.

Then there was a shooting attack. A young couple in their thirties was murdered, while their four kids – aged 9, 7, 4, and 4 months – watched from the back seat. As it happens, I am acquainted with the mother.

And then there were more stones thrown, near Shiloh, causing a car to overturn.

On the first day of Sukkot, we were with my cousins in Jerusalem. My cousin’s husband suggested that we all walk down to the Kotel (the Western Wall), about a 40 minute walk (although, with nine kids between us, it probably would have taken double that time). Yitzchak politely declined. Because we’re chicken. But apparently, we’re chicken for good reason – a father and his children were harassed that morning. Because there were video cameras, the Muslims didn’t actually harm the Jews. Luckily.

Remember Chaya Zissel Braun and Shalhevet Pass? The trend is back. Muslims have no qualms about kicking babies in strollers. Of course, if the parents were to defend their babies, and hurt the offenders, then the parents would be in jail and the Muslim terrorist would get millions of dollars in damages.

And then there were the Gush Etzion fires. Arsons.

I feel like every day, there are multiple attacks. And yet, the world is silent.

Dang the world! Damn the world! To Azazel with the entire world!

Why can’t OUR GOVERNMENT get the guts to defend us?

Terrorists need to be shot on the spot. Their families need to be stripped of their citizenship and deported with two hours’ warning.

And any leftists who are gung-ho to help them out can hop on a flight to Iraq and join the deportees.

No, I’m not Muslim. So I won’t say “Death to the Muslims!” like they say “Death to the Jews!”

But if they hate it here so much – let them leave.

If they can’t let us live in peace and security – they don’t belong here.

Neither do the infiltrators, by the way. (And these infiltrators also claim “refugee” status, even when it is blatantly unjustified.)

It is surreal, unjust, irresponsible, to have places in Israel that are Judenrein, and terror, harrassment, and murder in so many other places – in Israel.

If you do not believe that Israel should exist as a Jewish state. Leave. Like, now.

אשרי שישלם לך את גמולך שגמלת לנו. אשרי שיאחז וניפץ את עוללייך על הסלע.

וה’, שפוך חמתך על הגויים אשר לא ידעוך ועל הממלכות אשר בשמך לא קראו, כי אכל את יעקב ואת נוהו השמו.

די, נו, באמת. מספיק כבר.


I’m sitting in the living room, reading. Yitzchak went to shul.

They’re in the kitchen, playing. Shlomo is laughing, and Tova is making happy sounds. Suddenly, Shlomo comes running out, laughing, and saying, “Mama, it’s funny! Look, it’s funny!”

“What’s funny? And why are you holding scissors?” I ask, standing up. I take the scissors away.

Shlomo points excitedly. “I’m cutting her hair!! Look, it’s funny!”

*      *      *      *      *      *

This morning, Shlomo took a bendy straw, part of a toy vaccum cleaner, and put the ends together, clipping Tova’s hair between them. “Look, I’m cutting her hair. Tova, don’t move, I’m cutting your hair.”

“Now your hair is cut. Right Mama, it’s funny?”

“Yes, it’s funny. But you know, Shlomo, we’re not cutting her hair any time soon. Right?” We go over a short list of girls from his gan. Only one of them has short hair. He realizes that my hair is also long; I explain to him that girls like to keep their hair long, so we’re going to let Tova’s hair grow.

I guess I didn’t realize how serious Shlomo was about the haircut thing.

*      *      *      *      *      *

I’m six years old, and Esther is four. I don’t know where my mother is. Probably either sleeping, or otherwise preoccupied. We’re bored. Very bored.

We start playing hairdresser in our room. We put give each other interesting hairdos for five minutes, and then we’re bored again.

Esther says, “I want to play real hairdresser.”

“What’s real hairdresser?”

“When you cut people’s hair.”

“That’s a good idea, I’m first and I’ll cut your hair, and then you’ll cut mine.” She didn’t like that, but she agreed.

In the middle of Esther’s haircut, my mother came in.

She got mad, screamed at us, and blamed me (obviously).

Lesson: Next time, let Esther go first so that she’ll get blamed. And next time, make sure that Mom doesn’t discover you. Because whatever game you’re playing, it’s bound to be wrong.

*      *      *      *      *      *

I’m thirteen years old, and Shira, the baby sister, is three. I’m babysitting her, Esther, and Noach.

Shira is sitting on my lap, complaining that her bangs are in her eyes. I pin them up, but her hair is so fine that they fall back down immediately. Sigh. They really are too long – they’re in her eyes already. Poor thing.

I give her a headband, but she pulls it off. “It doesn’t feel good,” she tells me. Sigh.

I pray that I won’t be screamed at. My mother isn’t answering her phone, or maybe I’m scared of interrupting her. I take some scissors and give her a bangs cut. It’s uneven, so I even it out. I realize that I should have done it differently, but oh well. No harm done. Her bangs end up being slightly too short, but they are even, and they look decent.

Shira is happy. I wish they’d ended up longer. They’ll grow back. It’s even; no one will make fun of her. It’s just a touch short – but hey, at least her bangs won’t be in her eyes for a long time, right?

My mother comes back. She sees Shira and screams at me. She makes me feel like a piece of irresponsible garbage, which I’m convinced I am. She comforts herself that she had Shira’s picture taken a few weeks ago, when she still looked “normal,” before her irresponsible !@#$# of a daughter decided to cut her baby’s bangs by herself.

*      *      *      *      *      *

I look at Shlomo and sigh. I can’t blame him for doing something that I did as a kid. It really is a normal kid thing. I am not, I am not, going to react the same way my mother did. I am not. What Shlomo did is not dangerous or hurtful. It is just annoying.

I take a deep breath and say calmly, “Oish, you cut her hair? Do you remember we said that we’re not cutting her hair? You’re not allowed to cut anyone’s hair without asking their Mama. It’s not okay.”

He looks at me.

“Where did you cut?”

He points to the crown of her head. I see a few short wisps of hair on the floor, and pick them up. There’s another wisp hanging off her head; I take that, too, put it in the sink, and reach for the broom.

I’m kind of sad. Her hair is really pretty, and it’s growing nicely. I didn’t want it to be cut for a while.

I tell myself that Shlomo had just started, and he’d hardly cut anything. That what he did cut was very short, and only a few strands at a time. I remind myself hat her hair is baby hair, and it hardly shows; that hair grows back. That this is normal; that this is exactly the kind of problems I prayed for – not far-reaching, not bank-account-killing, not a health problem, not long term, not serious.

I make sure Shlomo knows that it’s not okay to cut hair without asking permission first. Then I tell him that when I was a little girl, I cut my sister’s hair. He looks at me, unbelieving and confused; he doesn’t know why I’m telling him this.

When we’re back in the living room, I drill him on the rules: no cutting his hair or peyot, no cutting her hair. Other children aren’t allowed to cut your hair or Tova’s hair, and you’re not allowed to cut theirs. Tova isn’t allowed to cut your hair or hers, and you’re not allowed to cut her hair or yours.

He doesn’t like that he’s not allowed to cut his own hair. It’s his hair, after all; why shouldn’t he be allowed to decide whether or not to cut it? “But I like!”

I realize that, but we just don’t do it. “When you get bigger,” I tell him, “if you have brothers, maybe maybe maybe, you can cut their hair instead of me. Maybe. But not for sure, and not until I tell you that you’re allowed.”

I tell him that when I was a little girl I cut my sister’s hair. I ask him if my mommy was happy or sad. He thinks she was happy. I tell him that she was sad and angry. I ask him what he thinks my mommy did. He doesn’t know. I tell him that she screamed at me and punished me. I ask him if I screamed at him. He looks at me and smiles, “Noooo.”

“But are you going to do it again?”

“Noooo . . . ”

Let’s hope that’s true.

And let’s hope that these are the only types of problems we ever have to deal with.

Tel Aviv is One of the Most Expensive Cities

So, Tel Aviv ranked as the 22nd most expensive city worldwide, and the most expensive city in the Middle East.

Honestly, neither of those facts surprise me. It’s known to be an expensive place to live, even more so than Jerusalem. But let’s look at the opening sentence, which has two parts.

  1. Tel Aviv is the world’s 22nd most expensive city. That means that 21 cities are more expensive. And hundreds of thousands are less expensive. Okay. Makes sense, at least kind of.
  2. Tel Aviv is the most expensive city in the Middle East. You can look at this in two ways. First, Tel Aviv is an expensive city to live in. Second, other cities in the Middle East are inexpensive to live in.

Tel Aviv is a bustling, modern city. It has hospitals, a long strip of beaches, malls, and an international airport (which actually belongs to Lod, but whatever). It’s full of markets, museums, and tourist attractions. It’s a port city, and it’s an old city, too. All of these factors added up mean that no matter how small or old your apartment is, the land that it’s sitting on costs a fortune.

So yes, it makes sense that Tel Aviv is expensive. So is New York. Fine.

The other side of the coin is that most of the Middle Eastern countries are still considered to be developing economies. Many of the governments are corrupt, and the lay people are poor. Between civil wars and terror groups fighting for power, it’s no surprise that less funds, jobs, and social benefits are available for the citizens.

That means that Israel (and I would put Jordan, too, and until recently, Egypt) is one of the most stable and developed countries in the Middle East. So, it’s no surprise that Israel’s most expensive city should be the region’s most expensive city. Is that something to be proud of? I think not. But, our economy definitely is.

And while we’re on the topic of how great Israel is – several of Israel’s hospitals ranked high on the global list. We’re talking about a list of the top 12,000 hospitals in the world. In this tiny country, 32 hospitals made the list; the highest ranking of them being #103 in the world. That’s pretty good, and I’m proud of it.

“What About The Good Arabs?”

– asked Danny Lewin. He wanted the good Arabs to have a chance, and to have rights.

And I ask, “What about the good Arabs? Where are they? Why do they not stand up for what is good and right; why do they sit quietly and watch innocent Jews be murdered, maimed, and terrorized? Why do they not fight for us in the propaganda war? Where are the good Arabs?”

Because silence is agreement.

If there are good Arabs in this world, let them stand up and fight the murderous Arabs in the news, on the web, in the media, in politics. If there are no Arabs willing to stand up for us, willing to teach their children that we are good, then they are all murderous – some actively, and some passively.

In honor – dubious honor – of September 11th, the day the world opened its eyes to terrorism, only to shut them and go back to sleep less than a year later – I present to you a tribute to the first victim of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001: Danny Lewin.

The gym owner’s responded in his typically blunt manner: “Because we don’t want any trouble—”; yet, before he could further clarify, Danny Lewin boldly asked again: “What about the good Arabs?!” . . .

. . . He married at 21 and raised two young boys with his wife. He received his B.S. from the Technion, working long hours as a teaching assistant there and as a researcher for IBM in Haifa. . . Two years later, while working on his Ph.D., he founded Akamai Technologies which offered a new and revolutionary way to deliver content over the Internet. By 2001, Danny was widely recognized as one of the most influential technologists of his generation. One well-known trade publication ranked him as the seventh most important technologist in the world.

Read the full article on Arutz Sheva.

If Danny had not been sitting in front of a terrorist, perhaps American 11 would have been saved. We will never know.

What we do know is that terrorism can be prevented. And the best prevention is deterrence.

May Danny’s memory be blessed, along with the memories of all other victims of Arab terror.

May we learn from the past, and not make the same mistakes in the future.

May this year be a year of good news, blessings, health, safety, and long life for the entire Jewish people.

Enough With the Awful Weather!

I blinked.

I opened my eyes.

Suddenly, it’s September.

The awful weather we had in June turned milder, but still hot, in July.

We’ve had three heat waves, where the weather reached 40 degrees in some places. I feel like our average was 38, throughout the summer. (But I may be wrong.) One of those heat waves lasted a week. A WEEK.

Now there’s a dust storm, and I can’t even open the windows. I hate not being able to open the windows. It cuts out light and air. Even hot air is air. But to have no air, except what’s already in here? Ugh.

It’s a dust storm and a fourth heat wave. It started on Tuesday morning, and hasn’t let up yet. With the windows closed, there is still light, but much less. They’re thick, and translucent, instead of transparent.

How am I supposed to get work done when I can’t see the sun and sky, when there’s no breeze? I don’t have a choice. I have to work, even if I can’t work as well as usual.

Sheesh. I’ve spent the whole summer waiting for nicer weather. And now, the summer’s over – over – the school year has started, and there is no nice weather in sight.

Sunday night is Rosh Hashana. On Monday, we’re eating with friends who live fifteen minutes away from the shul. If this doesn’t let up, we may have to cancel – Tova can’t go out in this, and even though Shlomo has been going to gan, it’s not good for him to breathe this polluted Syrian-Iraqi dust, either.

In gan, they have an air conditioner, and he takes the bus. Yesterday, it looked like the dust was clearing, and the ganenet let the kids play in the yard. I think that was a mistake, and hope they weren’t allowed out, today.

In the meantime, this apartment is getting more and more stuffy and humid. I have a layer of grease over my entire body, and pimples that make me look sixteen. It’s gross. I want to open the windows, and I want an air conditioner. I want sun and I want air, and I want my laundry to dry in five hours instead of 30.

But as of last night, 600 people had been hospitalized for inhaling this polluted dust, and I just can’t take the chance. The health ministry has warned that the elderly, babies, young children, and pregnant women, shouldn’t be exposed to this stuff – and neither should anyone with asthma or pulmonary heart issues. They’ve warned everyone to stay inside and not to strenuous physical activity.

Yitzchak isn’t doing a good job of listening to that instruction, but he’s an adult, and he has things to do – he can’t stay home all day. I feel like we should be splitting the outings between us, but the fact is, it doesn’t make sense for him to come home and then for me to leave and make a separate trip. It’s easier for him to just run the errands that are on the way to wherever he’s going.

This dust is choking. It makes you cough and it makes your eyes burn. I don’t know if we were smart or stupid to send Shlomo to gan. But I do know that Tova has no business breathing in any of this stuff, and even though she’s going stir crazy wanting to get out of the house, we just can’t risk it.

I hope this polluted sandbox weather clears up soon. I’m not sure how much longer I can stay inside with the doors closed. Thankfully, it’s not winter. If we had gas or a heater on, there would be a serious carbon monoxide risk. Sheesh, even in the winter I air out the nearly every day. Sure, it takes more time for it to warm up again. But I can’t stand having no fresh air.

Dust, you’ve got twelve hours to get out of here. If you’re intent on causing harm, go to Iran. They need you a LOT more.

Arabs = Kidnappers

Yeah, you bet.

Israel is – if you take away terrorism – an incredibly safe country.

Kidnappings are done by insane family members, left in charge by stupidly trusting parents, or perhaps during a messy divorce.

Violent crime – except by infiltrators in Tel Aviv – is practically nonexistent (excepting terror, of course; but terror is not “regular violent crime”).

Thefts – usually not. Unless, of course, you live in South Tel Aviv, where infiltrators rule.

Murders – Again, maybe once a year. Half of those are crazy nutcase family members, and a quarter are money-related, and the other quarter are just crazy nutcases.


Apparently, Muslims don’t know, or don’t care, that we value peace and quiet. And apparently, not hitchhiking isn’t good enough anymore. Since people don’t trust these animals anymore, they have to actively find other ways to prey.

This incident, in which a child is nearly abducted while the mother puts the stroller into her car, sets a scary precedent.

Let me explain. In many, if not most, cities in Israel, you can let a seven-year-old walk freely, without worrying. If you’re not American born, you might even let a five-year-old go to the store by himself. And it’s not abuse or neglect. It’s simply that every child is everyone’s child.

I know that the bus driver cares about my son. I know that the lady in the store will worry about my baby if she cries. It’s a given. And that’s what makes this country so special.  Since I grew up in the U.S. and Canada, I can’t stomach leaving my kids to navigate by themselves; even when they are teens, I will probably insist on a buddy or two.  But that’s because kidnappings were ingrained into my being.

I’m not a native Israeli, so I have psychological issues with things that aren’t problematic here.  When I was growing up, children weren’t safe, anywhere, ever, unless they were in the presence of a known, trusted adult. Israel is different. Here, we are all brothers.

Well, all of us except the Muslim animals, who apparently don’t care about any morals or values.

It scares me to think that I will have to watch my kids constantly, more than I already do, petrified that some Arab maniac will try to snatch them.

It scares me more to think that if I had the guts, strength, or whatever, to break that Arab’s neck, I would land in jail, and he would walk free, to continue terrorizing Jewish families. And Yitzchak would be left to manage both kids by himself, because G-d forbid a Jew should stand up for himself or protect his family.

G-d save us all.

G-d give Israel strength to defend itself, to stand up for itself, to ignore the world’s pressure and do to the Arabs what Shaul should have done to Amalek.

G-d give Israel the strength to finish the job, to learn from Shaul’s mistake, and to not let any more animals run free and wild.

G-d protect Israel, and all her sons and daughters, from enemies within and without.

G-d grant the politicians half a brain, to do what it right and true, despite the fact that it is not easy and it is unpopular.



As a side note, I want to add that once, while I was walking back on Friday night with my aunt and uncle, in Jerusalem, I felt someone watching me. I looked around, and saw a Muslim man following me from the other side of the street. When I turned, he turned. When I stopped, he stopped. When I sped up, so did he.

I mentioned his existence to my uncle, who spotted the man and asked what he was up to. Of course, the guy denied anything, but when he was told to go – he went. Probably, because I wasn’t alone, and therefore wasn’t worth it.

This was scary, because Jerusalem is – or at least was, back then – an incredibly safe place to walk, even alone, even at night, even on a weekend night. To think that it might not be safe anymore is a scary thought.

But, in reality, Jerusalem hasn’t been safe for at least a year and a half. And it’s only getting worse.


About the title.

Maybe you’ll say I’m generalizing, and I probably am. But the fact is, these people-animals live around us. There are cities in Israel where no Jew can go, because it’s not safe. There are no cities in Israel where no Arab can go, because it’s not safe for him.

Hitchhiking is dangerous because the person you give a ride to, or take a ride from, might be a Muslim out to kidnap and kill you. There are countless examples. Google it.

Fighting a Muslim is dangerous, because he might kidnap or kill you.

And apparently, putting the stroller into the car is dangerous, because a Muslim might kidnap your kid.

Giving birth to a boy in Soroka is dangerous, because a Muslim mother might try to switch your boy for her girl. I kid you not. There is a reason the doctors and nurses in Soroka check the bracelets and diapers of every single baby, every five minutes. These things have happened, and still do.

When I say Muslims, Arabs, are kidnappers, I kid you not.

ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas – all of these kidnap children to use as child soldiers. Yes, sometimes they brainwash the children first. But at the end of the day, there are more than enough kidnappings.

I will end here, because I have work to do today, and if I keep on writing, I will be too worked up to do anything at all.

May G-d save us all.

Tel Aviv in Pictures

Tel Aviv was never my favorite city.  It’s big – huge, by Israeli standards.

It’s grey.

It’s polluted.

It has lots of people.

It’s full of cigarettes, and therefore, it stinks to high heaven.

It’s full of high-rise, modern buildings.

In short, it’s a modern metropolis.  If I liked modern, metropolitan cities, I would live in New York, Los Angeles, or Toronto.  I happen to dislike big, grey, modern cities.

I also happen to think that even though Tel Aviv has a character all its own, a unique stripe of Israeli society, it doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the country’s unique style.

Sometimes, I think that Tel Aviv is a New York-wannabe. Or maybe a London-wannabe.  And in my opinion, that’s a shame.

Israel is unique in so many ways, and there is no reason to copy another country’s culture.  I like Israel, for all its identity issues,; anything that is SomethingElse-Wannabe, is not something that I’m going to fall in love with.

Navigating Tel Aviv isn’t easy, either.  Even native Israelis get lost in that metropolitan maze (except, of course, those born and bred in Tel Aviv and its environs).

There is one Tel Aviv train station (I don’t remember which one) that, if you leave it to the left, you end up in one city, and if you leave it to the right, you end up in another.

Another train station, Tel Aviv HaHagana, has a similar issue.  If you leave one way, you end up on a busy street near government offices.  If you leave the other way, you end up in a mall.  And if you mess up, you’re stuck.  Unless, of course, you want to pay for a cab.

While we were in Tel Aviv, I took out my camera and started taking pictures.  It slowed us down somewhat, but Yitzchak managed to put up with it.

One thing you can definitely say is that the Tel Aviv municipality has worked hard to make this area pleasant for pedestrians and pleasing to the eye.

There are enough benches here for a class picnic,


but no shade.  It looks like the municipality is trying to change that, though, since in this kikar, there are


lots of trees, each with a bench underneath.  They’re young trees right now, but it makes you wonder what will be in ten years.


Following what I said about modern cities, this unique building gives you the feeling that if you could only climb up onto that bottom step, you’d be able to take the stairs to the top.


Just outside the courthouse is a long row of motorbikes.


Every time I passed by, I wondered if this was a general parking lot, or if these motorbikes belonged to all the courthouse workers.


The city did make sure to gives us some shade, after all.  A long block of sidewalk was lined with trees in a small dirt “garden”, so that we wouldn’t forget what nature looks like.


Cutting down on traffic, exercising, and keeping the air clean seem to be values to be encouraged.  The city has created a bike rental stand.  Pay, take a bike, and return it later.


Of course, there is the ever-present line of bus stops, a must-have for all large cities in Israel.


And to end off the post, we can’t forget a picture of the skyline – any skyline.

Since taking these photos, I have learned how to compensate for over- and under-exposure.  There are more Tel Aviv photos, though, so check back soon.

What do you think?  Does Tel Aviv sound like – and look like – a place you’d want to visit or live in?  Or are you like me, and prefer smaller, quieter, cities and towns?

Social Media and Me

Since social media first came out, I’ve hated it.

I don’t have Facebook, and never missed it.

I don’t have Twitter, because I think it’s dumb.

I don’t have Pinterest, because honestly, I don’t see the point.

I don’t have WhatsApp, and I never quite understood why everyone else does.  (Admission: Until a few months ago, I thought its name was WhatsUp.  I still call it WhatsDown, though.)

And why would I want to stick a name tag and personal pictures onto my Gmail account?  I don’t.

I do have LinkedIn.  I don’t know how much it’s helped me, if at all, but I signed up because I figured it would help me network and find a job.  It hasn’t, at least not yet.  But since so many experts think that LinkedIn is useful, I keep hoping that it will find me something.

Even though I’ve been active on online forums for over ten years, somewhere inside, I’m still a teenager, scared of stalkers who take their stalking offline.

I don’t post pictures of my kids – or myself, or my husband – on the net.  Recently, I shut down my Geni account, and changed all our names to anonymous or blanks.  I have no idea what my extended family thinks of that move – and honestly, I don’t really care.

I do what I do – and don’t do what I don’t do – after a lot of thought and consideration, and I really don’t care whether my decisions are applauded or booed.

Honestly, when people ask me about social media, most of them raise an eyebrow at the fact that I am completely disconnected.  In many ways, I feel like my technological skills are ten years behind.  I feel like a Bubby.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  To this day, I don’t know.

But, Yitzchak is on the same page.  He also is completely off all social media.

Lately, though, I’ve had to make some tough choices.  As you probably know, I’m not continuing at my teaching job this year.  That means that when the school year starts in less than a week, I will be at home.  Shlomo will go to gan, at least the first day (he doesn’t want to go back, but I told him he needs to try one day, and then decide).  And I will be home, with Tova.  We don’t do daycare.   Not if there is another viable option . . . even if that option requires a sacrifice of money, convenience, or career.

I’m happy about that.  It really is what I want to do, deep down.  I’m just worried about whether or not I’ll want to find another teaching job in a year from now, and how that would go, if I chose to take that route.

But what not teaching also means is that I need to replace my salary.  Ideally, Yitzchak would be earning on his own what the two of us earn together.  That may or may not happen, and it may or may not happen in the next few months.  Really, we just have to work hard and pray.  In the meantime, though, I still need a salary.

I know that if this freelance business thing succeeds, I won’t have to go back to teaching.  The question is more if I’ll want to. Honestly? I’m scared that Tova will be ready for gan next year, and, being a good parent, I’ll send her just because she’s ready, even though technically speaking, there’s no reason to spend the money.  Then I’ll be stuck at home by myself, running my own business and making eleven thousand shekels a month (okay, hopefully), but in desperate need of company.

Last time I stayed home, I was creating and editing educational materials.  It was great, except that my boss’ budget wasn’t big enough that he could promise me steady work.  Luckily, it was enough at the time, and we managed.  Now, though, I’m not up for that level of uncertainty.  I will still be working with him, but I need other clients, as well.

Freelancing, whether teaching, writing, or editing, is a tough field to find jobs in.  So, when I saw on one site, “If you can’t find your ideal job, create it,” it really clicked with me.

After a long bout of cold feet, nail biting, nervousness, and thinking “Oh my G-d, I can’t believe I’m doing this.  Is this me?  Am I NUTS?” I took the plunge.

I am now a freelance writer.  In six days, it will be official (because my teaching contract will be up).  I am going to make this work, and I am going to be one of those high-earning success stories, having to turn down clients because my business has been more successful than I’d thought possible, and I want to leave more time for my family.

What all this means, though, is that my attitude towards social media will have to change.  To build an online writing business, you need to network and reach people online.  You need to be easily searchable, both in Google and in social media, because otherwise, clients the world over will have a hard time finding you. Even if they do manage to find your site, they’ll be nervous about being one of the first to work with you, or about hiring an unknown writer, when there are more well-known, personable writers to be found.

I think it was Sophie Lizard who wrote that, “People don’t work with websites, they work with other people.” Or something along those lines.  So, you have to show that you’re a person.

And so, with a lot of tummy flip-flops, and a lot of nervousness, I came face-to-face with the social media monster that I’ve successfully managed to avoid since its inception.

I took the ghost Facebook account, faceless, nameless, postless, pictureless, that I had made for the sole purpose of being able to read Facebook links, and I put a picture and a website.

I made Twitter and Pinterest accounts, added a picture, name, website, byline, and found people to follow.

And when my first guest post came out the day after I sent it in, I shared it.  So far, it has gained me a single Twitter follower, and four LinkedIn “likes”.

I think what my compromise will have to be, is that I post and share my writing when it comes out.  Soon, I will make a logo; after that, I will probably get someone to draw a caricature of me, and use the caricature on all my social media accounts, instead of an actual picture.

This is actually why I haven’t been posting too much in the past week.  Instead, I’ve been pouring my time and energy into getting my freelance writing business off the ground.  It isn’t easy, but I’m on a roll, and I believe that with enough motivation and hard work, I can land a couple of high-paying clients within the month – enough to easily replace the income I was earning as a teacher.

I’ve also been trying to teach myself to put only one space between sentences, instead of two.  What this usually means is doing “Find and Replace,” when I’m done writing an article.  Most of the time, this does the trick.

Wish me luck, because I think I’ll need it.

And don’t worry.  I’m not leaving this blog.  I will still continue posting here, on a schedule as regular – or irregular – as I have been until now.

When my site is up, and I feel like I can be proud of it, I will place a link over here.  Until then, sit tight, and keep reading. :)

UPDATE: I wrote this post a few days ago, on August 26.  I don’t know that I’m super-proud of my site yet, but I have 2 pieces published and two more scheduled . . . so I’m taking the plunge and waving my  anonymity bye-bye.  You can visit my writer’s site here, and of course, if anyone you know (maybe even you) is looking for a quality freelancer, I’d love it if you recommended me.

Yair Lapid: The Confused Hypocrite

I have no problem with stating that a community, institution, or person has gone wrong.  And so when the chareidi draft exemption was canceled, I was happy; I believe that this is a good thing.

When the yeshiva budget was cut, I kept quiet, even though deserving yeshivot did not get their money, either.  Even though, at the time, it meant our income was cut by about a third.  Even though the money that we were supposed to get, we never saw.

When they cut the child stipend, I didn’t blink.  I think they’re right.  I think that complaining about it shows a lack of understanding of the dynamics.

When Lapid pushed for 0% VAT on new houses, I was mad.  This is a dumb exemption that causes more problems than it’s worth, has a lot of loopholes, and leaves many deserving families out.

When the decision was made that only families with two working parents could receive a daycare subsidy, I jumped with joy.  Do you know how many years I’ve wanted them to pass such a law?  And all they required was that the father either learn in university OR work ten measly hours a week.  And then, slowly, the criteria would toughen up.

In 2013, one of the major bills that Lapid was pushing to pass included limiting the number of ministers serving in a given government to 18.  His main complaint was that prime ministers sometimes “make up” ministerial appointments in order to placate party leaders.  Lapid said that there should be no minister who doesn’t have a portfolio, and I think he’s right on that point.

One of the results of this bill was an increase in the number of deputy ministers.  A deputy minister earns less money than a minister, and therefore, more deputies and less ministers means that the government is spending less money.  This was the desired result.

All well and good.

Except now, Lapid has just exposed himself as someone not with the public’s welfare at heart, but with an anti-religious agenda at heart.  Don’t get me wrong.  He was never a friend of religious Jews, and has worked all along to make our lives more difficult.  But as long as what he did made sense, I kept my mouth shut.

Now, he is contradicting himself.  Suddenly, we shouldn’t have deputy ministers, if there is no minister above them.  He is saying this, by his own admission, so that Yaakov Litzman, and Tzipi Hotovely, will have to be appointed ministers or step down.

So now Lapid took the case to the Supreme Court, and won. Great. Tzipi Hotovely will become Foreign Minister.  I have no idea what Yaakov Litzman will do.  And while I do agree that being deputy minister simply for the sake of not having to swear allegiance to the State of Israel makes me slightly sick, there is no reason to make a big deal out of it, if he’s not doing anything wrong – and he is doing you a favor by not demanding more money.

Plus, I believe in putting your money where your mouth is.  Litzman is a decent minister, and he is doing exactly what he claims to believe in.  He doesn’t want to swear allegiance (I’m guessing because he doesn’t want to swear, but maybe because he’s just not willing to be that loyal to the State), and he happily gives up the extra income he would have otherwise had, to live by what he thinks is right.

People can talk and talk.  But you know what they really believe, by what they do with their money.

Lapid, leave Litzman alone.  I can almost guarantee you that by being a confused hypocrite you have just cost yourself seats.  We’ve seen that you’re not too smart, that you like to make radical changes without thinking, and that you’re not exactly helping the “middle class” who you promised to help.

But now?  Did you really have to take your mask off in front of everyone?

On the other hand – it’s better that way.  Now everyone will see you for who you are.