What images do you associate with the word “autumn”? I think of leaves in stunning hues of red, orange, and yellow, scarecrows, pumpkins, and big plump turkeys. Or perhaps you envision tall leather boots, warm cozy sweaters, and hot pumpkin-spiced latte. I’ll break it to you gently, but things are a bit different here in Israel.
In Israel, the symbols of autumn or “stav” are very different. Your children will not be bringing home crafts of colored leaves or other fall-themed crafts you are used to. You will see snails, nachlieli birds, and rainy day themed projects.
One thing I love about living in Israel is all the seasonal themes and holidays revolve around the Jewish year. In October the only holiday that was on my children’s radar was Sukkos. The talk of the town was all about lulavim, esrogim, and sukkas – no spooky themed decorations graced any store or advertisement.
The next holiday will be all about Chanukah. Get used to saying the Hebrew words and not Yiddish: sevivon=dreidl, levivot=latke, chanukiah= menorah. If you don’t, people might look at you with a very confused look because Yiddish words are not commonplace lingo.
Things to keep in mind this time of year:
- Snails come out after a rain, sometimes crawling out of their shells
- Jerusalem stone is slippery when wet. Use railings.
- Public places such as waiting rooms often have a bucket to contain wet umbrellas.
- Your water will be cold unless you turn on the dood shemesh דוד שמש. During sunny and warm weather months the sun heats up the water. In the winter or cloudy days you need to manually turn it on if you want hot water. Many people will but a timer on the dood shemesh so the water is hot and ready for you when you want to shower.
- It can be colder inside than outside. Think layers of clothing to keep warm.
If you found this article helpful please share it with your friends, on Facebook, and social media outlets.
Thanks for reading.
Karen Furman, T. K.K.
November 12, 2017 (updated October 9, 2018)
Have you missed any issues of The Olim Files?
#11 Snack Attack