With Apologies to Jeff Foxworthy

It’s been too long, my loyal readers, and for that I apologize. If you’ve wondered where I’ve been for the last 2 weeks, well…I’m in chul. Short for “chutz la’aretz“, or outside of Israel, this is how Israelis refer to everywhere abroad. For all you aspiring olim out there, you must use this word correctly. I’m not going chul. I’m in chul, as if it’s a country itself.

Lucky enough to get a free ticket to the States for a work weekend, I’ve spent the last several days at home seeing family for the first time since I moved to Tel Aviv. After 9 months of making fun of Israelis for all of their craziness, I was eager to return to the States for the first time. I’m sure every oleh chadash goes through the same thing during their first trip home: the proverbial reality check during which you truly appreciate the differences between the two places, feel how far you’ve come, how much your life has changed… So what have I figured out during these past few days? Umm…that American is crazy? Seriously, how can breadsticks be a viable food option?


  • If you see someone drinking out of a mug, and that mug can hold up to 64 ounces of liquid…you might be in America.
  • If the Cingular employee has to use a fourth-grade teacher passive-aggressive voice two times to tell the same impatient customer to sign in and please wait his turn, and you sense that she actually wants to bludgeon his face with a pick-ax…you might be in America.
  • If your host has one of these…you might be in America.
  • If you put your CHILD ON A LEASH…well…you know the rest.
  • If you finish a meal without a vegetable within a 7 mile radius…you might be in America.

I ask you now, my loyal readers. How do you know you’re in America?

I love you, America; it’s good to be back.


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