Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Back in the USSR

Actually, I'm back in Israel, but I can't get over how many Russian names I'm seeing. From the woman who stamped my passport to guy hitting up for Tzedaka, the Former Soviets are everywhere. Big difference from last time I was here, but I'm glad for it. Not really sure how many are actually Jewish, though..

The other big difference is the place definitely seems more frummed-out than I remember. It's especially noticable in the Central Shopping area of Ramat Bet Shemesh where despite the 95 degree heat all the guys are wearing black pants and jackets and all the women and girls are covered from head to toe with winter-wear. Well, the women have no choice, judging by the dress code plastered in large letters over one of the taller buildings.

Ah yes, no place like home.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Chana said...

Psychotoddler, my friend, you amuse me greatly. And hurrah for Russians! They rock!

Everyone rocks, actually.

Today's a good day.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

PT: Its Ramat Beit Shemesh...the entire country isn't frummed out.

Trust me :)

(and welcome home!)

RaggedyMom said...

We joke that since my husband speaks Russian to the kids, and the fact that they speak mostly English, and that I toy with the idea of speaking Hebrew to them from time to time, they'll turn out to be the perfect Israelis.

Ironically, most of RaggedyDad's relatives who are halachically Jewish went to Germany from Russia, and most of the non-Jewish ones are in Israel.

Seems like we thought Israel was polarized all along, but with the simultaneous chareidization and non-Jewish influx, it may have just been the tip of the iceberg.

Eitan Ha'ahzari said...

You hit on a good point. Less and less Russian immigrants are Jewish. I believe this is the biggest single reason for Israeli Russophobia. I, myself, was born in Moscow, USSR(back then) and came to America at the age of 7.

I really enjoyed reading the previous comment. Since I speak English, Russian and Hebrew and my wife speaks Russian and Hebrew(her Hebrew is better than mine since she works in an almost-all-Israeli company) our (future) kids will probably end up speaking all three languages, G-d willing;)

PsychoToddler said...

Or, you can do like my folks and use Russian as your "secret language." Then the only words your kids will learn will be swear words.


Anonymous said...

PT- yeah, seriously, check out more of the country before making a judgement. I sure hope you get some real touring in over the course of this trip :)


RaggedyMom said...

My parents' secret language is Yiddish. Now my brother who became a Breslover sends his kids to a Yiddish-speaking school in Yerushalayim, so they'll get the rest of us in on the secrets.

I should have listened to RaggedyDad when he wanted to teach me Flemish and had that be our secret language. If anything, he and my kids will use Russian as a secret language against me!

PsychoToddler said...

trsnpr: Of course. Just droppin' a few thoughts here and there. Literally.

Jack Steiner said...

I'd like to share a few words in my secret language.

Did you get that? Since it is a secret I wrote it in invisible ink.

Lion of Zion said...


when my grandmother (who is russian) came with to israel a few years ago she got such a big kick out of seeing all the russians (and russian sigage). she kept on asking every russian-looking soldier where he was from to find those from home town. but i think she almost had a heart attack when she came across an ethopian soldier who spoke some russian.


"he and my kids will use Russian as a secret language against me!"

i have the same fear with my son and my wife, though i have been learning some to preclude this eventuality.



mnuez said...

Yeah, I know how you feel. After a few years in Israel i thought i had finally learnt Hebrew only to later find out it was Russian.


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