I'm Feeling Itchy

In the summer of 2012, Rivkah and I, along with Yaeli, went on vacation to Israel. We traveled up and down the country, hitting a lot of the tourist spots and visiting with family and friends. We spent a total of 12 days there and packed them tight with stuff everyday day. 

Usually when people are on vacation, by the time the vacation is over they feel like it's time to go home. We were no exception to this rule. However, we felt like we already were home. Traveling back to America felt like we were leaving for a foreign land.

In the months proceeding our trip we'd been looking to buy a house in Pittsburgh. We were fast approaching the birth of our second child and our one bedroom apartment wasn't really cutting it anymore. We'd kinda sorta talked about Aliyah when we were engaged and first married but the idea had pretty much fizzled out. 

Sitting in Ben Gurion airport though, with a month left on our lease and no new home in sight, I wanted to just cancel our flights and start over on a wing and a prayer. I wanted my vacation to be over but I wanted to wake up the next morning somewhere in the Gush, hop a bus or hitchhike into Jerusalem for work, and just proceed forward as if we'd been living there all along. 

That, however, wasn't to be. And it wasn't the smart thing to do either. We did come back to Pittsburgh. We did find a place to rent instead of buying a house. And we did start, and continue to do research into housing, job market, cost of living in Israel so that when the time was right we'd have some data to rely on for decision making purposes. This also served to keep the dream alive. We'd let it peter out before and we didn't want that to happen again. 

Well, the itch is back in full force. That summer vacation was over a year and a half ago. The memories are fading and all I'm left with is a burning desire to go back. Not on another trip. I want to return home. I want my children to grow up learning the holy language of Hebrew. I want them to grow up in a land steeped in ancient history; the history of their origin. The history they'll be learning when they go to school and learn the parsha. They can come home one day and tell me "Totti, today in parsha class we learned about when Avraham took Yitzchak through our backyard to do the Akeida". (Ok maybe it won't be exactly like that but you get the point).

I know that things won't be simple and easy all the time. Maybe not even most of the time. I know it doesn't necessarily make the most financial sense or emotional sense to leave the comforts of a secure job market and lots of family around. But it's something we need to do and I'm itching all over for it

We'll see how things turn out. Right now I'm in the first week of a new semester but as the saying goes, "man plans and G-d laughs". We may move in 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years or 10 years. I can't really tell you. All I know is its 11:15 at night and I can't fall asleep because my heart is aching to go back home. 

לשנה הבא בירושלים


Bringing In 2014

Another year has come and gone. (Cliche, I know, but deal with it).

This year was the third time Rivkah and I went to First Night Pittsburgh. We went with our friends Scott and Dawn.

The night started off at the Byham theater to see the River City Brass Band. They were excellent. Their conductor is really funny. He wears a kilt and basically cracks jokes the whole time. All in all it was a really good show.

Next we headed over the the Fairmont hotel for some adult beverages (as I do not imbibe in alcohol I got a coffee). Whilst there I saw Marc-Andre Fleury, the goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and tried chasing him down to wish him a happy new year. He didn't seem to hear me and hotel security told me off after that.

Afterwards we headed over to my friends bookstore called Amazing Books, a really cool used bookstore on Liberty Ave. We spent almost an hour there talking to him, and Rivkah got to chat with Dawn for a bit.

We left the bookstore and headed over the Arcade Comedy Theater for some improv comedy. We only had two tickets but Dawn and Scott were allowed to jump the long standby line and join us, sans tickets. The show was really good and we are planning on going to see them again. Good, live comedy isn't easy to come by here in Pittsburgh.

Crazy Mocha was next on our agenda, where we picked up some coffees and then we headed over to the 2013 countdown to the new year. We got a ride on these bike-taxis and goofed around a bit while we waited for midnight.

For some reason the ball in Pittsburgh gets raised at New Years, so as the clock struck midnight we sort of asked ourselves that. I think it's a ritual at this point to comment on how silly that is.

All in all, it was probably my favorite New Years. Great friends, great entertainment. Here's hoping 2014 turns into a really great year.

Happy new year y'all!