Did we mention Aliyah is a great thing? Ok, now that we have that covered, we want to make sure you are well prepared to arrive in Israel. Aliyah is not for the faint of heart but there are ways to minimize your discomfort. This is something that everyone who fought hard to be in Israel went through. And we can tell for sure that one of the most important things to do is be prepared and strengthen your mindset with a few tips.
As we mentioned previously, Israel has a unique culture, a unique way of doing things, and a very different system of bureaucracy than your home country. Certain things considered important in other countries are completely irrelevant here, and vice-versa.
In the interest of making things smoother for you, we present you 5 crucial mindsets to adopt when coming to Israel:
1. Be patient, be patient, be patient
While Israel certainly is a first-world country, sometimes things don’t go as quickly as we’d like. For example, certain governmental agencies can take longer to process your documents, and even if they finish on time and send, maybe the post office is on strike or has issues (that’s actually a pretty common occurrence here). Or, it could be simply that the “pakid” (clerk) is chatting with his co-workers, totally ignoring the people in line. Whatever the case may be, take a deep breath and be patient because confronting rarely solves any problems.
2. Don’t take it personally
As we wrote in the previous articles, especially this, Israelis don’t mince words, and sometimes that can come off as rude. Not only that, but they can even intrude in your private conversation and give unsolicited advice and comments. It could also be that they are simply having a bad day, as everyone has once in a while.
So remember to brush it off casually, and to carry on with life. Since we are somehow related (through Yaakov Avinu!), it’s natural for people here to have a “heightened sense of responsibility” towards others, even if that will end up annoying them. And remember: It’s nothing personal.
3. It’s never too late for fixing your bills and documents
So, you may think that if you miss a government appointment, there will be a fine or you will be penalized somehow? Don’t worry! Thank God, that’s not how things work here.
Sure, if you don’t pay Arnona (property tax) on time, you will incur a 0.5% interest on the debt, but then again, nothing really happens unless you really go on for a very long time. Did you leave the electricity bill unpaid? In some cases, they give up to half a year to pay before cutting your power! In this regard, Israel is actually a pretty chill place to be, though it certainly pays to have your bills in order so as to avoid stress.
4. Feel free to appeal to people’s compassion (in a friendly way)
We just said above that we are all related, which can be a pretty annoying thing. The good part of it is that people are ready to go that extra mile to help solve your issue! That is, if you present your cause in a respectful manner. Few things make Israelis as livid as when they are being looked down upon or as if someone thinks they owe a favor.
Realize that the janitor can often expect the same respectful treatment as the Chief Financial Officer of the company and not be taken advantage of. Like everyone else, he works hard to put food on the table and, unlike some other countries, won’t take slights to his honor quietly. But on the flip side, this means that even the Chief Financial Officer can be approached as easily as you approach the janitor!
5. It’s all for the best!
You took the most important step of your life and made your dream of settling in Israel come true! Don’t worry if you get some bumps along the way because we all do! In the end, remember that everything, in the end, is surely for the best! Having Emunah (Faith) that God is with you will surely make things all the easier around here!
And, of course, Aliyah Paveway is here for you in whatever you need!
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