Monday, April 16, 2018

Yom HaAtzmaut Traditions (By David Kilimnick on Jewlarious)

Yom HaAtzmaut Traditions- Click here for link to article (or read below): This Israel Independence Day, shpritz people with white foam. In Israel, that’s just what we do.

Yom HaAtzmaut Traditions

Yom HaAtzmaut Traditions

This Israel Independence Day, shpritz people with white foam. In Israel, that’s just what we do.


Yom HaAtzmaut, Israeli Independence Day, is a fairly new holiday. Seventy years ago, we came back to Israel as a Jewish nation and now we celebrate it. How? That is a question that has caused many arguments. Nonetheless, there are certain traditions that are ubiquitous for the celebration of Israel’s independence, and many we can add to make the holiday more enjoyable.
1,000 years from now, people are going to be talking about the Yom HaAtzmaut traditions we practice today. We are creating the traditions, this is our chance to make it meaningful.
Jeans are very expensive in Israel, and thus classy. Class is defined by money, which is why I usually wear a suit. I don’t have enough money for jeans. Keep Yom HaAtzmaut with the appropriate respect for the day and wear show up to synagogue for the special prayers of the day with dyed jeans, a bedazzled shirt with no collar, and plastic shoes. Crocs are also expensive in Israel.


Take any white foam and spray people who will not appreciate it. Look for people in suits. They are not dressed for a holiday – the foam is hard to get out of their clothes. Making them not happy helps us all celebrate with more joy.
Shaving cream works well for the practice of this tradition, as seen by the Israeli children on the major streets of all cities. Due to the laws of not taking a razor to the corners of the face, this is a great use of shaving cream. Even better, use toothpaste. It’s harder to get that out of the clothing and hair.


Take a plastic bopper that looks like a hammer and bop people. This is a tradition practiced by Israeli children who cannot find somebody in a suit.


If you can’t find a foam spray or a bopper, just run up to people and touch their ears. The idea is that kids have off from school and we celebrate by allowing them to bother adults.


All Israelis living in Israel do this on Yom HaAtzmaut. Hence, it is now a tradition.
If you want to make your walk feel more Israeli, do what they have done on every hike I have been on with a group in Israel. Carry a 5-gallon bottle of water with you. Known as a jerrycan, this will make your hike heavier and harder to finish. Also, make sure to have a bus waiting for you at the end of the hike, to drive you back to where you started the hike from.


Israeli kids walk the streets waving flags. That’s the tradition. We don’t celebrate with floats. There is already enough traffic in Israel.
Outside of Israel, you must also walk down the streets with Israeli flags. For parades, you usually have to obtain a city permit and a police escort. But don’t worry. If you walk down the streets of your town outside of Israel with Israeli flags, at some point the cops will probably show up.


Tradition is to hang the flag from the car and keep it there until you start driving and realize the window is open. By the end of the day, it mustn’t be there.


Israel is ancient, and thus we must connect with old stuff. If you’re not in Israel and can’t find a walled city, this requirement may also be fulfilled by traveling to any area where there is a Kmart.


Make sure your BBQ is tiny. Known in Israel as the “Mangal”, it should be no bigger than a matchbox. Israeli Independence Day is celebrated with a grill that is not easy to use. With that in mind, it is forbidden to use a gas grill.


Why not bring the Chanukah feeling to your Yom HaAtzmaut. Burn eight Mangals and celebrate the miracle of having enough room on the grill to feed the whole family.


This will allow you to connect with the Israeli tradition of playing the music you like very loudly, even though you don’t know the other people at the park.
Make sure you play the music they play on Israeli radio stations, like Adele.


Make sure that you don’t clean up the garbage that was left from your Mangal. It is not celebratory to clean.


This is a tradition I created. On this one day, Americans have to try. They must put a little effort into acclimating; either by trying to speak Hebrew or by using an Israeli accent to speak English. If neither of those work, they must try to sound French. Anything to show they are trying to fit in.


Play soccer on a basketball court. Make Israeli coffee that doesn’t dissolve, so that when you finish drinking your coffee there is more coffee in there then when you started drinking it. Pretend like you are part of the Knesset and argue with people. Eat falafel or anything that doesn’t require utensils like burritos. Dance in a circle and then move back and forth in one spot. Give the Jewish National Fund money to plant a tree for you in Israel that you will never see.
Some of these traditions may change over the years. Arguments may occur over the required amount of coals for the Mangal and how many BBQs you should light. Some rabbis may ban spraying people with white foam. Flags may be required to be taped to the windows so that they don’t fly away. I don’t know how traditions will change. One thing I know that never will change is kids are off from school and they will make life difficult for the rest of us.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Aliyah and Kosher Food (as seen on Jewlarious)

click here for article on Jewlarious- Aliyah and Kosher Food: The reason I moved to Israel is for kosher food.

Aliyah and Kosher Food


The following are reasons for Aliyah as I have heard from many people over the past 10 years:
Idealism, Torah, alimony, unemployment, lost all my money on Jewish day school tuition, free healthcare, lost your job, never want to work again, fraud, murder, arson, arrest, Argentina, Europe, Obama, Trump, working as an illegal alien for too long, the Jewish homeland, taxes you have to report and will not, Israeli women, Jewish men who do the army, the municipality, and ministry of interior.

-Food in America Made Me Different
These are all very valid reasons. But the reason I moved to Israel is for kosher food. I am American, hence I love food. Food is the backbone of American culture. It is an identity. In America, it is an identity that made me different. Here is the journey of my childhood:
Keeping kosher kept me separated from every normal person in society. Growing up in Rochester, NY, “normal” meant not Jewish. I love being Jewish and unique, but not when unique means hungry. Unique would be great if it included a cheeseburger or Tony Roma’s ribs. They say kosher meat is better, healthier; but when I saw those kids smiling, I knew they were lying. Those kids were enjoying their pepperoni pizza. I was never able to share in that joy. Vegetarian pepperoni does not taste like pepperoni. I know that because I never smiled like the non-Jewish kids when my mom threw tofu on the pizza and called it fepperoni. Fepperoni does not go well with cheese.

-I Had a Messed Up Sense of Reality

As a kid, I thought eating out meant ‘We are going over to Ben’s house for dinner.’
As a kid in Rochester, you could eat out at Friendlys. Even so, the regular menu was not for the Jews. I had to ask for the ice cream menu. It would take three minutes for them to realize that I was not going to get a burger. Baffled, they would ask ‘Why do Jews never eat dinner?’ Shocked at the number of Jewish children that were allowed to jump straight into dessert while their parents were present.
Only non-Jewish people can enjoy the delicious hamburgers. Them and the other kids in my class at Jewish day school. These were the same children who could order food from the vendors at the baseball game, because their parents loved them. My understanding of love was any child whose parents allowed them to order peanuts from the snack guy walking around. You see what non-kosher does to children? It gives them a false sense of affection.

-Chuck E. Cheese’s Debacle

Eating at Chuck E. Cheese’s was the worst experience of my childhood. I couldn’t eat. The activity I participated in was not eating. It was watching other kids enjoy themselves while a gigantic mouse would try to make me feel better by trying to get me to eat some pizza. The pizza wasn’t kosher so I ran away from that mutant mouse that was trying to make me sin.

-I Was Lied To

Chicago deep dish pizza is enjoyed by many non-Jews. It is huge, thick, and enjoyable. Kosher deep dish pizza is about a millimeter; it has a little bit more crust. That is it. In a society where Jews are second on the food chain, the kosher people lie about what they are serving. I can’t tell you how many times my dad brought me a kosher Rueben sandwich. It was years before I learned that Russian dressing was not cheese. In Israel, nobody ever lied to me. There is no need to lie in Israel. There are so many kosher places that we can finally enjoy the Israel deep dish pizza; as they call it, lasagna.

-Can’t Date in America

In America I had no dating life. I couldn’t go anywhere. There was nothing “normal” as a Jew in suburban America. I couldn’t enjoy a night out at TGI Fridays. A date for a religious Jewish couple was shul. I have a vivid memory of a conversation I had on a first date, right before I moved to Israel, where I said, ‘Let’s go hear the rabbi’s sermon.’ We got there and the conversation continued, ‘You sit on that side of the partition; I’ll sit on this side. We’ll talk about the cantor after services. If we are lucky, the sisterhood might put out a nice spread.’ Killing two birds with one stone, she ended up meeting my parents after services. She did not want to go out again.
The only other outing for a Kosher eating Jew in my town was bowling. But nobody respects a man who uses bumpers. I scored over 200 and she still said that she didn’t respect me.

-In Israel, I can be Normal

That is why I love Israel. In Israel, I am a normal person. A not hungry regular man. In Israel, everything is kosher, unless you are Ashkenazi on Passover. Then you can’t eat anything. Even still I somehow managed to put on extra pounds over Pesach by compensating for the legumes with Matzah. I found a way to enjoy myself in the country of my people, as a normal non-legume eater. Judging by my holiday pants with the elastic band that has been fully extended, I enjoyed my Pesach without legumes.
Kosher Burger King is the real reason I moved, even if it is now Burger Ranch. It was my first interaction with redemption. I remember standing in line, staring at the menu. It was on the wall. It was huge, which meant exciting. I felt the final presence of the messiah at our doorstep. The pangs of the redemption. All the years of persecution and cheeseburgers were over. We have a menu on the wall. I first asked for the hat. I felt like a king. I had the crown of the Messiah on my head. A cheap date, a hamburger, no tofu, no salad, and high cholesterol levels. I was finally normal. I saw children smiling with parents who loved them and no giant mouse. There I was, a happy, normal 25-year-old kid, without a second date. She didn’t enjoy the idea of wearing the messiah’s Burger King crown.
Like any normal man, I now enjoy my fast food, with legumes. And then washed it down with pareve ice cream.
That’s why I moved to Israel.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Representing Israel in 'Funniest Person in the World' Competition

Am I the Funniest Person in the World?: I’m representing Israel in the Funniest Person in the World competition. (article, as seen on Jewlarious)

by David Kilimnick

I was chosen to represent Israel in the ‘Funniest Person in the World’ Competition.
Yes, really.
I don’t think I’m the funniest person in the world because I know the guy who is. I saw him at Venice Beach. He had no teeth, yelling at every passerby. That was funny. I am not that funny. I do not yell at people unless they pay to come to my show. Even still, being chosen to represent Israel somehow got me all sentimental.
For me, this is like the Olympics. Our sense of humor is our strongest muscle.
I have spent the last week and a half galvanizing a nation to vote for me (you can check out my competition video here). For me, this is like the Olympics. I am my country’s delegate. Is humor less of a sport? I am not in decent shape, but I do take a lot of pride in being Israeli.
I moved to Israel 13 years ago and never felt like I was fully part of the society. That is what gives me my comedic perspective. But now that I’ve been appointed Israel’s representative in the Funniest Person in the World competition, I realize that they have finally accepted me in Israel. That kills the humor of it.
Even still, I feel like I am now representing this adopted homeland of mine, Israel, to the rest of the world; the way Israel should be represented, with an American accent.

This Competition Is Made for Outsiders

I have always been an outsider. I grew up a religious Jewish child in North America. My class at Jewish day school had 11 kids. Outside of those 11 children I was never the normal person. And now, all of the sudden, I feel like I am a normal person. In Israel, it is normal to walk around with your Tallit, on the streets, on Shabbat. In any other country, I am weird. Most people do not talk to themselves when they leave a bathroom. When they need to pray on a trip, in most other countries, they do not stand in a phone booth for five minutes, and leave the phone on the hook. But I do all of these things.
I have to be honest with myself though – this is not the Olympics. Even so, the un-athletic Jewish people take just as much pride in their humor, as the Russians take in their weightlifting. Throughout persecution, we have exercised our humor. It is our strongest muscle. Yet, people can still beat us up.

With that out of the Way – Back to Me

As an Orthodox Jew, I never had the opportunity to take the regular path to comedy. In America, stand-up comedy was relegated to the night clubs, which usually require you to perform on Shabbat – problem for me. I also always wanted to play in the NBA, but Shabbat ruined that for me too. I am a good 5’8.” My vertical is 1’6.” I can reach the net with no problems. I also wanted to play professional football. I was excellent at two hand touch in Yeshiva. Again, shot down by Shabbat.
Then I moved to Israel. Suddenly, everybody was Jewish. The athletes are Jewish. The comedians are Jewish. Shabbat is…Jewish. Suddenly, comedy was an option!


Israel afforded me the opportunity to pursue a career in comedy and entertainment and for that I am grateful. It allowed me to connect to people through the language of comedy. A language I always spoke, but never expressed myself in. Israel made it acceptable for me to be humorist and a religious Jew.
Talk about a people, a nation. The audiences are a gem. The people of Israel know how to laugh. I have performed in many countries. The warmest and most genuine laughs always come from Israelis. This sensibility is what I present to my audiences in my routines. That is what Jews do. When there is naches, we share the pride with everybody. Like the fact that my mom is still showing the neighbors my papier-mâché project from third grade. Israelis know how to laugh and I want to share that laughter with the rest of the world.
Yes, America is great. But Israel is where I must be. Israel allows me to be who I am – a standup comedian yet still live a religious life. I perform at the club whose motto is, ‘As the comedic delegates of the Holy City, we view comedy as a necessary religious experience.’ My experience has been that humor brings us all together. Laughter transcends discussion.
Allow me to try and explain why I have gotten strangely emotional about this whole thing:
As it is our duty to be a ‘light unto the nations,’ I am honored and touched to be sharing the Israel that the rest of the world does not see: The Israel of laughter. The Israel of love. The Israel of self-deprecation. The Israel of happiness. This is the Israel that is the light that we want to share with the world. This is the first time anybody entrusted this basketball star that I am, to shine. To shine the light of our great country.
Please feel free to watch my video that was chosen for the first round of the competition, about Driving and Directions in Israel

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Kotel Experience for Yom Yerushalayim (as seen on's Jewlarious)

David’s Western Wall Tour

In honor of Yom Yerushalayim and Shavuot, join me on my Western Wall tour.


Yom Yerushalayim/Jerusalem Day and Shavuot Night are two days when thousands of people from all over Israel flock to the Old City of Jerusalem and join together in prayer at the Kotel. For those who cannot make it for the holidays, I will take you on a spiritual tour of my experience at the Kotel, the retaining wall of the Great Temple which the Divine Presence never left, so you too can join in the celebration.

Men’s Side

My friend said to meet him at the Kotel. He said he was wearing a black Yarmulke.
I did not find my friend.
The Kotel was very crowded and I got yelled at. I found out later, the guy screaming at me was inviting me to join him in prayer. He was screaming ‘Mincha’ (the afternoon prayer). I ended up doing the afternoon prayer eight times that day. It wasn’t out of fear of God. The guy scared me.

The Kol HaOlam Kulo Circle at the Kotel

A bunch of people singing the famed Jewish song ‘the whole world is a very narrow bridge…and the main thing being not to fear.’ They started to sing this song right after they finished their afternoon prayers. Apparently, they too were frightened by the mincha guys yelling at them.

The Wall in the Back of the Prayer Section

That was built to keep the creepy people away. You can see them all peaking over. A bunch of Peeping Toms. We know you are there. Sickos.

Notes in The Wall

This tradition probably began back in the days when most people did not have access to Israel. Recycling was not an option at the time, and littering was illegal. So people had their friends bring their papers to the Kotel. This gave a sense of connectedness, knowing that their clutter made its way to Israel as well.
Sticking notes in the Wall can become addictive. I knew I had to stop bringing notes to the Kotel when I found myself caulking my bathtub with little bits of paper.

Papers on the Floor

Many people have a tradition of writing notes and then discarding them at the Kotel. Some people have a tradition of sticking the notes in the Wall. Other people have a tradition of not cleaning up.
Disturbed by the lack of cleanliness, I picked up a few of them and read them. Apparently, a lot of people want health. There were some who want the strength to do good. Others want a female Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle doll. Each and every one of those notes touched my heart, as I learned we are all connected in prayer. I was especially moved by Michael from Toronto. We are with you buddy. One of your teams might win a championship someday.

Kotel Bar Mitzvah

You can see a bunch of men standing over the kid, waiting for the moment where they can tell him that he did something wrong. You can see the men, intent and ready, as they wait to berate the child.
Bar Mitzvahs are a Jewish ritual where we reprimand a 13-year-old in public, for making mistakes while reading the Torah. It’s beautiful.
In recent history, parents have made it a practice to bring the child to the Kotel to celebrate this coming of age, the acceptance of Mitzvot and older people telling you what to do. The additional people found at the Kotel allows for a more nationalistic feeling of collective abuse.
After he is finished reading, they whipped candies at him. As I learned, this is mainly done at the Kotel on Mondays and Thursdays, when the Torah is read. Shabbat is another good time to whip candies at children. By the time they got to pelting this young man, another 50 people were there to join in the public candying flogging ritual.

Paper Kippahs: Origami Yamis

This man is making kippahs with the art of Jewish origami. What makes Jewish origami different is that we use staples. You can also use the Jewish origami tradition to decorate your sukkah with paper chains. You origami it with staples and your chain is made twice as fast. Brilliant!. I am surprised the people of the Far East never figured this out.

What it Looks Like When you Wear a Paper Yarmulke

An idiot.
This kind of kippah is what keeps non-religious people away from religion. I don’t even think that this upside down nacho tray is connected to the right side of my head.
If you are lucky enough to find a cloth kippah at the Kotel, take one. Nobody will notice. The security guard is too focused on the origami yamis.

That Man Without the Blanket

The Temple was known as a house of prayer for all nations, but this guy is taking it too far.
Even if he is protesting the lack of subsidized housing, this is just plain wrong...On the other hand, I was impressed by this man’s sense of calm as no matter how hard they tried, he didn’t let the afternoon prayer guys get to him.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

How to Enjoy Israeli Independence Day Like an Israeli (as seen on

How to Enjoy Israeli Independence Day Like an Israeli: Start your celebration with a “Mangal” – which is an Israeli BBQ that is too small to cook on.


Check out the Link Above to Jewlarious @

How to Enjoy Israeli Independence Day Like an Israeli

Start your celebration with a “Mangal” – which is an Israeli BBQ that is too small to cook on.


There are many ways to celebrate Israeli Independence Day – Yom HaAtzmaut. In Israel, some throw confetti. Some take white foam and shpritz others that will not appreciate it. I take the white foam cans from the children and whack them with it. However, the one tradition that all Israelis share is the BBQ at the Park. This is pretty straightforward so if you want to celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut like an Israeli, here’s how:

Make a Mangal

Known as the Mangal, and Al-HaEsh/on the fire, the Israeli BBQ should be too small to cook on. It is traditionally the size of a matchbox. If it can fit both a hotdog and chicken wing on it at the same time, it is too big.
You can find these contraptions for outdoor cooking in Israeli grocery stores, such as Super, Giant, Mega, Great, Huge and Gadol (apparently Israeli supermarkets like to emphasize their size). These supermarkets will also provide you with the necessary food items for the family, such as 50 gram bags of party size Doritos.
To add to the feel of the holiday, yell at the family. If they complain, you can respond with, ‘You just had half a hotdog an hour ago. Think of the other people for once!’ Then justify the lack of production, by having people think you are cooking with a crockpot, with sentences like, ‘It is time-cooking, takes time.’
To make it a fuller Israeli experience, talk with as much of a lisp as possible. You should also remember to pronounce every silent letter that is not supposed to be there, such as the ‘e’s in ‘people.’
Remember, holidays are about memories, not enjoyment.

Do Not Eat Falafel

No real Israeli eats falafel on Yom HaAtzmaut. We are celebrating freedom on this day. We are not celebrating the fact that we are located in the Middle East. We are trying to forget that today.
I understand that your diaspora community serves falafel on this day, but we Israelis celebrate Israel. We are not celebrating overuse of oil today. We do that on Chanukah.

Purchase Chicken Dogs

I don’t get it. But that seems to be what people do in Israel. The fact that they look like beef dogs before they are cooked, adds something to the holiday. Again, I do not understand how people are satisfied with this lack of enjoyment.

Wave at the Fire

The number one Israeli tradition on Yom HaAtzmaut is to Nifnoof. Nifnoofing is the way to keep an Israeli mangal going. Nifnoofing is a process of waving your arm and a cardboard box you found near the trash at the playground, in hopes that your fire will not stop, by greeting it.

Skip Work

No Israeli goes to work on Yom HaAtzmaut… or Wednesdays. Not working is a tradition in the Holy Land, as we have belief in God.

Go to the Park & Occupy It

Don’t just do the BBQ. Go to a crowded park and share in what the world calls the occupation.
Bring chairs. A lot of families like to bring couches and tables, so that the other people know that they are moving there. You might want to put together a moving team to help with your refrigerator.
It is almost impossible to find a place in the parks on Yom HaAtzmaut. After searching for 5 hours you will find many dads protesting, ‘We have found a spot, we are not leaving…I can care less if you are tired.’ To show solidarity, you can pull out a bed and box-spring.

Israeli Dancing

What has been called Israeli Dancing for the past 60 years is known by three people in Israel.
Many people think circle dancing is Israeli. That is not true. Israeli Dancing is a side to side hop jump. It is used by all people of Israel. Be it at rallies, protests, parades, weddings, bar mitzvahs, or Torah dedication parties, it is the side to side jump step. You can start your own Israeli Dancing line, by hopping from side to side, twice on each foot.
You can do this at the park as well – we Israelis are not ashamed of anything.

Bring a Portable Speaker to the Park

This will allow you to connect with the Israeli tradition of playing the music you like extremely loudly.

Play Football on a Basketball Court

You will see this at the park. I am still trying to figure out why every basketball court in Israel has football goals.

Sit in Traffic

You can connect with the day of no work in the country, the inter-city travel of every citizen and the parades, by finding the longest traffic light in your city at rush-hour.
Go a step further by stopping your car and causing traffic yourself. This will cause other people to beep, making you feel like you are in Israel proper.

Wave Israeli flags

Flag waving is a huge part of the holiday in Israel.
If you live outside of Israel, buy an Israeli flag for your car and hang it out of your window. You will know you are celebrating correctly if you get beeped at. If people stop yelling at you in disgust, check to make sure your flag is still there.

For A Relaxing Yom HaAtzmaut- Leave your Kids at Home

I have seen way too many soccer balls land in BBQs for any parent to enjoy their holiday. I have never seen a parent smile while serving their child a $22 steak.
If you make a mistake and bring your children along to the park, distance yourself from them. However, be responsible and keep them within eyeshot. You might want to bring something with a scope on it, to show you are a responsible parent.
If you follow through with these suggestions, you will have a very Israeli Yom HaAtzmaut

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Praising the Land of Israel- Published in Jewlarious

Praising the Land of Israel

In honor of Tu B’Shevat, singing the praises of the Holy Land.

by David Kilimnick

Tu B’Shevat, otherwise known as Rosh Hashana for the trees, is a holiday that emphasizes our connection with the land. And what better land to emphasize than the Holy Land?
Many have adopted the Kabbalistic tradition of celebrating Tu BShvat with a Seder, so allow me to enrich your Tu B’shvat seder by presenting you with some praises of Israel: the food, the inventions, the people, and I even threw in some questions for the holiday so you can engage the children. It’s all about the children.
Israel found a way to put something in hot water for 25 hours that will not become soggy – theShkeidei Maraksoup nut.

Land of Brilliant Inventions

All people fight the boycotts of Israel by mentioning Intel. That doesn’t stop the anti-Semites. You have to hit them where it hurts. Israel invented Shkeidei Marak (soup nuts). Israel found a way to put something in hot water for 25 hours that will not become soggy. Let it be known, ‘Boycott Israel and do not enjoy your soup.’
While enjoying your vegetable soup, with some fruit, this Tu B’Shevat, add in some soup nuts, enjoy yourself and put on some weight even while going vegetarian.

Land of Happiness Brought to You By The Na Nachs

In other countries, you cannot get out of your car in the middle of the road and start dancing. Here in Israel, it seems to be encouraged.
There is no greater form of happiness other than that shown by the official Israeli jump dance. The Israeli Jump Dance, hopping on one foot and then the other with no sense of embarrassment, may be seen at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, protests, and by Na Nachs everywhere.
To understand what Na Nachs are, just think Hasiddim but really happy. Like, happier than is allowable by law.

Land of The Bible

Here, you can feel the connection to history. I even had the chance to visit the Biblical Zoo the other day, where I was able to see all the Biblical animals, such as penguins. There were also Biblical kangaroos.
History is all around us. All looks ancient in Israel. My landlord hasn’t redone my apartment in 60 years.
In Jerusalem, I ran into somebody who told me he was Joshua of the Bible. I ended up giving him a 5 shekel coin. He seemed quite surprised. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed with his prophetic abilities. As I told him, ‘You should have seen it coming.” I myself am not a prophet. Even so, I can foresee that if you do not have a job, you are not going to make money.

Land of Sportsmanship

We have a beautiful sport called Matkot, played only in Israel, with two rackets and no net, and no winner. The objective of the game, as I learned while not participating, is to take a little ball and to hit people who are taking a leisurely walk down the beach.

Israel Celebrates Nature

We have a whole holiday to celebrate dried fruit. Most people throw out their fruit once it withers. We make it festive. At the time that fruit goes bad, we give it that extra few days. That is when we eat it. How about that PETA?

People Care- Not Just A Country

I have been set up by women who didn’t even know me. I do not know how they knew I was single. It might have been the smile on my face. Most recently, a matchmaker who set me up on a date didn’t even see my face. We were standing in line at a cash machine. She saw my balance and knew I was good for her niece. I said I didn’t want to go on a date with a stranger. And as any good Jewish mother, she told me that I needed to, as I am old and extremely desperate, and I wasn’t going to do any better with my credit rating.
When I got my new car, from 2002, people weren’t just telling me to enjoy it. They said ‘Titchadesh’- ‘Make it new.’ Commanding people to enjoy something they just got. Where else do people care that much about other people’s enjoyment and intrude on their feelings?

Heart and Faith

Ethics of the Fathers teaches that a tree that has strong roots will not blow over. The people of Israel keep our positive attitude, due to our strong roots.
We do not let terror affect us. I heard about an attack when I was at a restaurant. The restaurant was packed. In the face of terror, we go out. Fighting terror? How? Eat shwarma. That is how we do it. Israelis do not give into terror. We are strong. When it comes to fighting back, we go out and eat.
Most of the world is ridding oil from their diet. We have made grease the main recipe.
Then you see soldiers praying in the army, with tefillin on, in the middle of war. So much faith. On a related but different note, what other army has 90% of their soldiers smoking in a combat unit? As I said, a lot of faith.
Crossing of streets? People don’t even look. Complete faith. The youth even walk across the streets on their cellphones, texting. God leads people in the land of Israel.

Friday, March 4, 2016

18 Reasons for Making Aliyah- Published in Jewlarious

18 Reasons for Making Aliyah

Reason number 7: Kosher Burger King!

by David Kilimncik

The 2015 numbers are in from the Jewish Agency and apparently over 30,000 Jews made Aliyah (immigrated to Israel) in 2015. That’s a ten percent increase over 2014 and the highest level since 2003. Way to go Israel! I’m always up for breaking records so I think we should make 2016 even better than 2015. I’m doing my part by making this list of 18 reasons why you should make Aliyah:

1. Move Somewhere Warm

I was from Rochester, New York. I love Rochester, but it is cold, and older American Jews move someplace warmer and change their name to Bernie. I figured, I could move to Jerusalem and live with Americans, or I could move down to South Florida and live with Israelis. I chose Jerusalem
At around 60 or so, my name will also be Bernie.

2. You Don’t have to Work

This beautiful country gives you money to make Aliyah. With some additional money from Nefesh B’Nefesh that can get you through a year or two in Israel. Enjoy that vacation. You deserve it. You moved.
After receiving some graduate degrees in America, I realized that people had expectations. As an immigrant, nobody has any expectations of me. My Hebrew is on par with my three year old Israeli niece.
I am an immigrant. That is an accomplishment right there.

3. Fear & Anti-Semitism

Rochester’s company, Kodak, hadn’t been doing well and I wanted to get out of there before they started blaming it on the Jews.
Many people from non-North American countries move to Israel because of fear. Does that mean that we are indebted to the anti-Semites of the world, who have helped more Jews in the Aliyah process than all of the Jewish Agencies and Nefesh BNefeshes combined?

4. The Need to sell Dead Sea Products to Americans

Hand creams can only be sold illegally in malls by non-American citizens.

5. Love of Jewish People

If you truly love Jewish people and want to complain about them, Israel is the best place to be.

6. Don’t Hide your Judaism

People don’t hate you for being Jewish in Israel. They hate you for being annoying.
You can wear a yarmulke on the highway. You do not have to wear a baseball hat. They already know that you are Jewish. You can’t hide it. And to those who wear the hat in America, they know you are Jewish too. Wearing a suit and a baseball hat kind of gives it away. Showing up to the movie opening up a can with a baseball hat on, smuggling in all those snacks – they know.
In Israel, the only people wearing baseball hats are the tourists from China.

7. Kosher Burger King

The first time I saw the sign I was in awe. ‘Whopper’ written in Hebrew. Hamburgers ready before I ordered them. I felt something special that day. I believe it was a prophetic calling telling me that the days of the Messiah are upon us.

8. You Hate your Family

That is why I respect the old Olim (immigrants to Israel) from the first modern Aliyah back in the 1800s. They took boats, they walked through barren wilderness, they never wanted to see their families again.
I am not suggesting that this is the best reason for Aliyah. But you will see them a lot less. That’s just a fact. For many, that’s a big plus.

9. You Feel that Silent Letters in English should be Pronounced

Make the move to Israel and pronounce the ‘i’ in Lincoln, the ‘k’ in know, and the ‘t’ in listen.

10. Land of our Ancestors

After I moved, my mom showed me our family tree. Perhaps, I should have moved to Brooklyn.

11. Torah

You care about being a Jew and practicing your religion. What, am I crazy for suggesting that as a reason?

12. You Love Jewish Holidays

Everything is a holiday in Israel. You have Yom HaAtzmaut, Yom Yerushalayim, Yom Revi’I (I want to thank my friend Matt for that Hebrew joke). I will translate it: You have Independence Day, Jerusalem Day, Wednesday. Maybe that sounds funnier in Hebrew. I know the English there does not work. If you do not understand the Hebrew, think of it translated into Hebrew and you might enjoy the process of not understanding it in another language. Point is, holidays are celebrated all the time. For whatever reason, nobody is working on Wednesday. Banks are closed at weird hours. Maybe they feel it is the Jewish Homeland, and nobody should have to work at home.

13. You want to Find the Tree that the Jewish National Fund Planted for you

The Jewish National Fund took money from me every Tu BShvat holiday, from the time I was in kindergarten and I never saw the tree with my name on it. I am on a mission to find it.

14. Love of Subtitles in Movies

In Israel, all movies are viewed with subtitles. Even better, after reading a movie you rarely hear conceited people say, ‘The book was better than the movie.’

15. You Have to Move out of your Parent’s House

The final realization that I had to move to Israel took place in my parents’ home at 3am. I was watching TV. My dad came down and asked, ‘David- why are you watching TV? It’s 3am?’ My immediate response was, ‘Because I can. I am 25 years old.’ I knew that it was 3am, because it was 3am. If I wanted to eat hamburgers at 3am, I had that right. So I made Aliyah. Burger King is kosher and I wanted to eat Whoopers at 3am.

16. Felonies

This is probably the number one reason to move away from your place of birth. If you got caught, running is the best option.
If making Aliyah for a felony or any kind of avoidance of payment, be sure you never have to visit again. Be sure to take all you will need for the next 40 years in your two bags the airlines allow for international flights. If you like Entenmann’s doughnuts, take as many boxes as you can. Maybe prepare a lift for yourself of doughnut holes. Do not set yourself up for any trips back to your native land for a hankering.

17. You like Shopping in an Aggressive Atmosphere

Nothing can take the place of somebody yelling the price at you. The only thing that can rival the passion of the souk salesman is a price tag. And even that, you do not see all the time.

18. Jewish Homeland

In Israel, love is expressed through reprimanding. For the feeling of intimacy, you need the right people yelling at you. I cannot express the gratitude I have for all the random Israeli strangers who have yelled at me, for reasons I do not know. I have not felt that kind of warmth since I stopped living in my parents’ house.