Disclaimer: I am not judging anyone . I have BH the easiest life of anyone I know. My family is healthy, my kids are doing well in school and have friends. We own our own home and our own car. So, this is much easier for me to write than for so many other people.
But I get frustrated too. It is hard for me to have left behind my grandmother, my parents, my cousins, my siblings and their families.
There are certain elements of the culture here to which I am still adjusting after over 26 years. The educational system goes against every principle of educational psychology. So much of the news here makes me cry - whether it is the ridiculous traffic situation from Beit Shemesh to Yerushalaim; the cheating by "religious" politicians here in Beit Shemesh; boycott against us led by Jewish professors; the name-change of the prize given to musician Ariel Zilber, the fact that Jewish teenagers rape their classmates; the corruption or anything else that "shouldn't happen in a Jewish Country".
And the lack of rain, reflected in the imported apples at the store, scares me - especially in a pre-shemitta year.
Yesterday, my daughter had some homework in Humash - crazy homework. She had to read 3 pesukim and understand something that , in my opinion, requires a level of comprehension way beyond grade 6. However, it was good for me to have to learn it with her - I needed the reminder.
Here is the homework:
Read the following pesukim in Humash Devarim, Perek 11, Pesukim 10-12, and write the pros and cons for Eretz Yisrael and Mitzrayim as described in the pesukim:
י כִּי הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ--לֹא כְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם הִוא, אֲשֶׁר יְצָאתֶם מִשָּׁם: אֲשֶׁר תִּזְרַע אֶת-זַרְעֲךָ, וְהִשְׁקִיתָ בְרַגְלְךָ כְּגַן הַיָּרָק. יא וְהָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ--אֶרֶץ הָרִים, וּבְקָעֹת; לִמְטַר הַשָּׁמַיִם, תִּשְׁתֶּה-מָּיִם. יב אֶרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ דֹּרֵשׁ אֹתָהּ: תָּמִיד, עֵינֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּהּ--מֵרֵשִׁית הַשָּׁנָה, וְעַד אַחֲרִית שָׁנָה.
What I find interesting in the phrasing of the homework was the acceptance that there is a "disadvantage" to life in Israel, and an "advantage" to life in Mitzrayim. Yes, it is harder here, and it will always be harder here, because that will - or at least, SHOULD - keep us turning to Gd. To pray, to improve our behaviour, to improve our communities according to Torah....
Please remind me of that when I next complain, cuz I will complain. But that's okay. If i don't complain, and I pretend that everything here is perfect, then I would be missing the point.