Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Strange Place To Learn

It seems we are part of a growing phenomenon. I was reading an article today in the Jerusalem Report about growing trends in aliyah. More olim are either retaining their previous jobs from their original countries or getting jobs which involve travel. They commute between countries, sometimes for regular short periods or else for longer stints with breaks in between. My husband has recently begun traveling to the UK. He has been selling our Judaica there and is also in the process of setting up another business.

The salaries here are low compared with the UK/US, even for skilled jobs. Many are deciding that earning sterling/dollars is a better way to guarantee an income which has some hope of supporting their families. Our businesses are both new and time will tell if this way of working will prove successful for us.

Today I had a strange experience. I went to the dentist. Nothing unusual in that. However, some dentists aim to relax their patients with pleasant chatter or background music. This one put on a shiur for me to listen to. In the past I have learned Torah at home, in synagogue, in the houses of others, but never in the dentists chair whilst having my tooth drilled! I think, on balance, I prefer more traditional options!

However, my willingness to develop my religious knowledge appeared to have an immediate pay-off. Feeling a little numb, both in the mouth and from the 300 shekel dentist bill, I went to the supermarket to buy some groceries. When I walked in the cashier waved me over and told me that she had a 200 shekel voucher from my store loyalty card which she could take off my shopping bill. How’s that for timing? Any connection…?!

By the way…. no sign of the tortoise all day today. I searched around the garden and also peered over the borders, in case he had fallen down and needed rescuing. No sign at all. Is he still in our garden, buried and out of sight? Has he escaped and is jubilantly strutting his stuff in the wild? Has he taken a tumble and fallen somewhere out of sight? I actually feel a little worried about him and will have another root around for him tomorrow.