Definition: building or place where one resides
Synonyms: abode, address, apartment, base, casa, co-op, condo, crash pad, crib, den, digs, domicile, dwelling, flat, flop, habitat, haunt, headquarters, hearth, hole, home, homestead, house, joint, lodging, pad, quarters, residence, roost, sanctuary, seat...

We all know that its more than just the place you "hang your hat."

I have recently been feeling untethered. I am the ball floating around the pole with no strong cable to tie me to the pole. There is nothing grounding me. But I am still  flying around, still taking the hits.

The housing market in Neve Daniel is very tight. For those in the know, that may be considered an understatement. Last year, when it became clear that we were staying in Neve Daniel, we grabbed the first available rental. It's been wonderful. It is spacious, even a little too big for us. It is in a great location, in the middle of a very happening block on the new side of the Yishuv.  It is 4 buildings away from AM and UM. There are good friends and neighbors all around.  The lease was only for a year, but hey, so much can happen in a year!

Not that much has happened this year. At least not in the way that would make us want to leave this house. But  the owners are returning and we must vacate.  All year I have had my ears open to possibilities. AM and other faithful friends have been scouting, questioning, and working on this for months. As possibility after possibility fell through, I tried to hold on to the feeling that something would turn up.  I have pleaded my case on the Neve Daniel email lists. Others have pleaded my case to potential landlords. But nothing has worked out.

One would think that by now I have learned to completely relinquish control of my life and accept whatever is thrown at me. Let me tell you, I try. But when you are hit over and over again, there is this little part of you that says "One thing! Please! Let me have control over One! Major! (okay, even minor) Thing!"

In this whole thing there is one absolute: I must stay in Neve Daniel.  Our entire support system is dependent on this.

After that, I am pretty negotiable.  I would ideally like to stay on this side of the Yishuv, or in the center. The "other side" is pretty difficult because it is up and OVER a mountain. AM and UM live at the bottom of the mountain on the new side.

I finally gave in last night and started looking at 2 bedroom apartments.  It was a very, very hard thing to do.

Not because I have to live in a big, beautiful house with an American style kitchen. I think it was more about what it represents - how far life has veered off course. How could I squeeze myself, 3 8 year olds, and 2 dogs into 2 bedrooms and what is likely going to be a tiny  kitchen/living room/dining room? Haven't I paid my dues and been in the tiny apartment already? 15 years ago?!! How can I ask C to give up having his own room?  Forget about a playroom - what about simply place to play!

Shouldn't I be able to provide my children with a place that feels like home?

Well, there it is.


We had a decent house in the States. There was a place for everything and a place for everyone. It wasn't my dream house, but it was Home. It was ours. It was permanent for as long as we wanted it.

While I love the house we are living in, the fact that our landlords are friends and neighbors makes me feel like a custodial parent.  Every time B slams a door I scream "This isn't our house!" I want that feeling to go away.

I want a place that will be Home. How could that possibly be a tiny place?! And what's more, even if I could talk myself into it, could I convince the Trips?

I've been thinking about an old Billy Joel song a lot.  (Trip'n Daddy and I were both such huge fans that we each came to the marriage with a full set of his CDs.) It was one of our favorites. It was simple in its message, maybe even a bit corny, but it spoke to us. Its been running through my head because it is the Mussar that I need right now.  It's not the house that makes the Home. It is the people in it.  I am Home to the Trips and they are Home for me. That's the way it has to be, should be.  One day, we will find our House...

YOU'RE MY HOME (Billy Joel)

When you look into my eyes
and you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
it always comes as a surprise
when I feel my withered roots begin to grow.

Well I never had a place
that I could call my very own
but that's all right my love
cuz you're my home.

When you touch my weary head
and you tell me everything will be all right.
You say use my body for your bed
and my love will keep you warm throughout the night.

Well I'll never be a stranger
and I'll never be alone
wherever we're together
that's my home.

Home could be the Pennsylvania turnpike
Indiana's early morning dew
high up in the hills of California
home is just another word for you.

Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
but that's all right my love
cuz you're my home.

If I travel all my life
and I never get stop and settle down
long as I have you by my side
there's a roof above and good walls all around.
You're my castle, you're my cabin
and my instant pleasure dome.
I need you in my house
cuz you're my home,..
you're my home.

This post is dedicated to D, because of her friendship and perseverance in helping me find myself, and my Home. 

Loving Life in Israel: Raining Hope

Rain in Israel is a completely different experience than rain in New York, and probably anywhere else in the world.We pray for it, hope for it, predict it, speculate about it, celebrate it, and count every drop. There is a very specific rainy season here and deviations from it are rare.

One deviation comes with a special segulah: Rain in the month of Iyyar is supposed to be a segulah for good health. The explanation behind this belief is that the letters of Iyyar stand for:

Alef: Ani (I)
Yud, Yud: Hashem
Resh: Refoecha (is your healer)

You can read more about it here.

When it does rain in Iyyar you might see people running outside with their mouths open, trying to catch a bit of the magic.

Last year, we caught some Iyyar rain and rubbed it on Trip'n Daddy's dry lips.

(We generally hold a "You never know - it can't hurt" perspective when it comes to Segulahs)

So when reports of that rare Iyyar rain started to fill up my Facebook feed this morning, I smiled.

Because even though it didn't work for us, Iyyar rain is still special, still magical, still celebrated.

Because in Israel, every drop of rain equals a drop of hope.

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