Well, it's official - we are now settlers in Yesha! It was with sadness that I left Ramat Beit Shemesh to the hillside of Kochav Yaakov, but I think that we'll be happy here. We've found kindred spirits here and it seems as if our hashgafa - outlook - pretty much matches the other people who live here. We've been spending waaaaay too much money on making this tiny house work for us, like buying lots of cabinets and closets and a HUGE keter shed, just so we can get everything to fit. A word of advice when you make aliyah -- get rid of as much stuff as you can BEFORE you get here; it will make your life so much easier.
Tomorrow I'm taking the day off to spend with my friend, Caren, who's here in Israel for her son's wedding. It's her first trip here, even though both of her sons have spent a lot of time living and learning here. I'll show her around Yerushalayim tomorrow and then maybe pick up the car from David and bring her here to Kochav Yaakov to see our house (and Emma, of course), then we'll go pick David up and go out to dinner. It's nice to live close enough now to be able to do that. Plus, it's UNBELIEVABLY WONDERFUL to have a car!! Yesterday I drove David to work and then drove back to RBS to clean the old apartment a little and do a bunch of errands. What a difference to be a car owner rather than a bus rider. I won't mind riding the bus at all tomorrow, just knowing that we own a car - I'm not ready to actually drive in Yerushalayim yet.
So we've been here a week. It's not as hot here as RBS, Baruch Hashem, and the nights actually get down in the 50's. We're on the eastern face of the hill so when the sun starts going down, and even before, it cools off really fast. We'll see how I do in August without air conditioning... Right now we've got fans in all the rooms, and there's a great cross breeze. It's so nice to be in a house again, with a yard and a driveway and everything. There's a French family who live upstairs who are pretty quiet. We've rigged a gate of sorts to keep Emma in the yard, but we need a better system. Right now it's just a board that we have to keep moving out of the way when we go in and out.
Today when David came home from work, he said that the Palestinians were fighting amongst themselves again. I thought he meant down in Gaza, but then he asked, "Hear that?" It never occurred to me that he meant they were fighting nearby, as in Ramallah. I could definitely hear lots of gunfire. I probably shouldn't be telling this because now you're thinking we're nuts for being here. So first of all let me say that the army has a great presence in these hills, and there's good security around the yishuv. And yet, our safety is really in Hashem's hands - mine AND yours. It doesn't matter if you're living 3 miles from Ramallah or in New York City or in Timbuctoo. Our thinking is that we want our move to Israel to mean something. There are over 1200 families on this yishuv, counting Kochav Yaakov and Telzion, and none of us would be here if we didn't believe that Hashem gave us this land and that it's our responsibility to live here and take care of it. And not only are we proud to be doing so, but so very grateful that we have the opportunity!