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My Move to Israel by Noa Feldman, 11 years old

Hi this is Noa Feldman. I am Rabbi Jonathan Feldman’s daughter. That means that I also made Aliya. I’m an 11 year old girl moving to a different country, with a different language, and different types of people. That is hard to put on a kid. But as I start a new life I don’t need to make it hard for myself. I can walk in with a good attitude. Or I can walk in and say “ I’m not going to like it, my parents are ruining my life!” L I made a new friend when I came in February. I find it amazing because now she can introduce me to a ton of new people, and she is in my class. I chose to walk in and say “this is going to be new and different and weird but at least I want to know that I tried.” When I start school on Wednesday I am going to have a good attitude. I have no idea how to speak Hebrew at all. Today I woke up and my math tutor was standing there to teach me geometry in Hebrew. My parents told me don’t worry about the grades just work on learning Hebrew and making friends.

Shabbat just ended and I want to talk a little about it. In Manhattan we would walk to Synagogue and I would see everyone on the street holding a phone. And if I looked onto the rode I would see cars zooming by, but that is all I could see. I can’t see Shabbat. It is like it isn’t there or it doesn’t exist. Shabbat in Ramat Beit Shemesh is a completely different story. When we light the Shabbat candles you see Shabbat coming. And we are on our way to Synagogue everyone is walking fast to be on time, kids are playing in the park with their friends while their parents are at the Synagogue (including me J). Everyone is dressed in their pretty dresses and strait suits and you see Shabbat. It has come and it has unpacked and it is ready to stay. Shabbat day is amazing. I wake up and my mom says “Shabbat Shalom Noa and Meirah, whoever is the last one out take the key and lock the door, love you” . When I’m walking to Synagogue I see no cars or phones nor any cameras. And everyone is dressed and walking to Synagogue. Then I see people walking in the street and I decide I’m also going to walk in the street. I feel great and I feel proud to be a Jew, and I feel proud that I keep Shabbat. When all the parents are praying the kids either sit on the steps and talk or play games, or pray. Then at 10:00 A.M. on the dot the candy man comes out. He has every candy you can think of. Every candy that will make the dentist crazy[JF1] . It’s like being in the game candy land. All the kids are in candy heaven and all you need to do in wait in line and when it is your turn you shake the candy man’s hand and say “Shabbat shalom” and you get to pick whatever you want.

After everyone eats lunch we all do our own things. Mommy either goes to a Torah class or sleeps. Daddy learns or sleeps. Meirah either goes out with friends or stays home. And I every Shabbat I go to my friend Miri . We play games and go on walks and talk. I feel Shabbat it is there and I can see it and I just think to myself this is what Shabbat feels like, and it feels amazing, it fulfills my week. when it is 5:20 I meet my dad at the Synagogue and we learn from the Book of Kings. It’s about King David. He is near his death. After that I go back to my friend’s house. My parents tell me a time to be home for dinner. After dinner my Dad goes back to Synagogue. My mom reads and I go to the swings down stairs. I wait for daddy and when he comes home we go upstairs. To send off Shabbat we light a braided candle and do a service called Havdala. That feeling that I had through Shabbat kind of just left me. And I can’t wait for next week, I can’t wait for Shabbat. I wait for Shabbat to come back

Now that we live in a Jewish community in Israel and not busy Manhattan I’m aloud to go wherever I want whenever I want. And I can walk by myself. In New York my parents didn’t even let me cross the street by myself. But now I feel more free. If I get mad I can just go for a walk calm down or go to my friends. Being here is a scary challenge and hey, everything is going to change but you can’t spell challenge without change. I am starting over a new life. We have changes every day in our life but change is what makes us Human.

[JF1]

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