I first off want to apologize for not posting in a while. We were in the U.S. for the summer and figured blogging was not so necessary for keeping in touch. None the less, we are now back in Israel and hope to once again start to post on a somewhat regular basis.
Shortly after our return we started our second year as the Ave and Em Bayit (dorm parents) at Yeshivat Shvilei Hatorah. This year we have 33 students, including Shana Bet (students from last year who returned for a second year). I do not know if it is because we have less students so there is less to keep track of, or if it is because this is our second year so we are used to how things roll, but so far this year has seemed much less overwhelming then last year. We feel as if we know how to connect to the guys better and we feel like we have a better grasp of what we should and should not do, both in terms of policy and in terms of what works and what does not. I guess the other perk to this year's start-off would be that we did not have to move (that is a first in the 2.5 years we have been married) upon our arrival, so our personal life was not so insane upon the start of the new year.
Even though the Yeshiva's school year has begun, Hebrew University's has not; we start October 18th. So, instead, I have been spending my time helping out at the Yeshiva, working for my "normal" job (Secretary in Israel), and finishing up some paper assignments from last semester that are due this month.
I also have taken the time to pursue my Israeli drivers license which is a much longer process (and much more expensive process) then getting an American Drivers license. I so far have picked up all my paper work and paid for it, had my eye doctors appointment, and had my physical. I next need to go to the Misrad Harishuei (basically the equivalent of the DMV, car registration and emissions testing place ) and hand in what I have so far to get the next round of paperwork. Then I will need to have one driving lesson and take my driving test. In total I will have to pay about 1200 Nis (close to $300) to complete this process. You may be wondering why this process is so important to complete, after all I know how to drive, have an American license, and can rent a car in Israel on my American license? Well it is simple: because if I don't do it now then the process will only be longer and more expensive later on.
Here is the deal: after making aliyah a person has 1 year that they are allowed to legally drive on their foreign drivers license in Israel (and therefore be covered by insurance). After this year is up, new Israeli citizens (that is us) have two more years to apply for a transfer of their license. This transfer includes taking only one driving lesson and taking the Israeli driving part of the drivers test; as apposed to the 20 something classes you need to take (and therefore pay for), and all the tests required of people without licenses, if you wait beyond the two years.
The way Nate and I look at it is this: We don't get our drivers license now, and in however many years when we return to Israel, please G-d, with a house full of children, we will be in much more trouble. We will, then, not be able to legally drive until we find the time to take all the 20 something lessons required and take all of the tests (written and driving). I don't think this sounds like a very pretty picture to have a bunch of kids, hopefully schools for them all to attend, and jobs for us to get to, and no way for us to drive to take care of all these things.
Anyway, so far the process, though long and more complicated then in the U.S., has been going pretty smoothly, with none to little lines and minimal confusion. I see this as a good sign, and hope that I have not just jinxed myself!
Anyway, in case we do not get a chance to write before this coming weekend, Shana Tova to all! May this year bring only happy occasions and celebratory times, and may Nate and I get to see you all soon in Jerusalem!
We love you and miss you!