Wednesday, 10 August 2011

New Customer Service at Misrad HaBriyut - 2

In a previous post we began to share the exciting news that Misrad HaBriyut, the Ministry of Health now has a Customer Service.

I am pleasantly surprised that the new customer service actually calls to follow up. At least they have so far.

Once again the customer service can be reached on *5400.

The hours for this service are 8 am - 6 pm Sunday to Thursday and 8 am - 1 pm on Fridays.

There is a new fax number too, which is 02 - 5655997

Try them and enjoy.

Actually, this time they even spoke to me in English and were happy to help me with the spelling of something I needed to prepare a cover letter for a fax in Hebrew.

Let us know how you progress. If you enjoyed good customer service, please let us know to encourage other Professional Olim.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A thought as we leave Tisha B'Av

As Tisha B'Av draws to a close and we continue thinking of the Beis HaMikdash, an interesting teaching is worth sharing from one of the Kinnos. 

In the commentary to Kinnah 25, we read that after the Holocaust, many began to search for an appropriate day to remember what had transpired. They approached certain leading Torah leaders and the response from the Brisker Rav, Rav Yitzhak Zev Soloveitchik, was that the answer lies in this Kinnah. 

As it reads: "Please take your hearts to compose a bitter eulogy because their massacre is deservant of mourning and rolling in dust as was the burning of the House of G-d, it's Hall and it's Palace. However, we cannot add a (new) day of mourning over ruin and conflagration nor may we mourn any earlier - only later. Instead today, on Tisha B'Av, I will eulogize and wait and weep with a bitter soul and my groans are heavy from morning until evening." 

Hence the message is clear that there are no NEW tragedies for the Jewish people. Everything that has occured since the destruction of our precious Temple is a result of the loss of the Beis HaMikdash. For this reason, any other tragedy that has occured since the destructin of the Beis HaMikdash is ALL remembered and mourned or cried about on Tisha B'Av.

The Kinnah also addresses another major question. Why does exile continue? The answer given is that Jews are comfortable in their new adopted lands and reluctant to return to our precious Land of Israel, concerned for hardships and poverty in Israel. Slowly the Jew has stopped to identify with his true home, but finds comfort and excuses to remain wherever he has been exiled to. 

--- Teaching found in the Artscroll version of the Tisha B'Av service

Enough Exile. Enough living without our Beis HaMikdash. Come home Yidden. Come home and together let us find a way to rebuild Eretz Yisrael, all of it. And through our dedication to our precious land may we be deserving of the final Beis HaMikdash in all its glory, bringing peace and blessing to the whole world. 

Monday, 8 August 2011

Finding the Postive in a Traffic Jam

Guest Post by
Elchanan Lipshitz Efrat, Israel

Another bus story, this time on a dreary, cold, wet winter late afternoon having returned to Yerushalayim from a tiyul out of the city. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper and we're stuck near City Hall with no end to the traffic jam in sight.

People are becoming antsy and impatient and the mumbling gets louder and louder. Finally the tour guide takes the microphone and says: 

"Ladies and Gentlemen- 
When the Ramban visited Yerushalayim he couldn't find a Minyan of Jews! 
Think how happy the Ramban would be to be struck in a traffic jam in Yerushalayim!!"

Needless to say, the mumbling and grumbling came to an immediate stop!! (I quote this story often whenever people complain about things- not only traffic- in Yerushalayim/Israel.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Guest Post - Appreciating Our Calendar

Guest Post by 
Elchanan Lipshitz
Efrat, Israel
This goes back to the summer of 1969- my 1st visit to Israel (We've since made aliya). 
I'm on an Egged bus in Yerushalayim. For lack of seats I'm standing just behind the driver. 

Next to me are sitting 2 elderly ladies who are arguing back and forth, in Hebrew of course, as to when Rosh Hashanah will be that year. One says "early"; one says "late". this goes back and forth for a few minutes with the tone gradually getting louder and louder. 

Finally the driver turns around and says Ladies- Rosh Hashanah is never early or late! It is always on the 1st of Tishrei!! Now please be quiet!!

Shoshanah, one of the managers of this blog asked Elchanan how he felt about the experience and his answer is worth repeating
"My feeling about the bus driver matched my own feeling. It's about time we got used to using our own calendar- especially in Israel - and not the borrowed calendar of another religion. No, I'm not fanatic about it and I too use the Gregorian / Solar calendar when I have to. But if I know today's Hebrew date I will have no problem knowing exactly when Tisha B'Av, Rosh Hashanah or any other special day falls- it's always on the same Hebrew date! By the way, the women took the bus driver's comment in good spirit. Hopefully it gave them as well something to think about! "

If you have an inspiring or meaningful story to share of your trip to Israel, Pilot Trip, Preparing for Aliyah, having Made Aliya, please email us to share with our readers and inspire our fellow Jew of the benefits and beauty of living in Eretz Yisrael.  

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Invitaiton to Share your Inspiring Story of Eretz Yisrael

  This invitation is all about unity and increasing love of Eretz Yisrael. Hence the chain of interlinked people, in a background of blue, ie L'Shaim Shamayim.

Hi Everyone

The 9 days is an appropriate time to increase in our appreciation of Eretz Yisrael.

There is a teaching that Eretz Yisrael is acquired through suffering. For many, one of the greatest difficulties is not knowing where to find the necessary information in order to take care of what needs to be done. For some, unforeseen challenges can test one's Emunah and commitment to the Land.

When faced with a difficulty, the Baal Shem Tov's teaching that everything is Divinely Directed and happens for a reason, can pose an interesting exercise in finding the good in a series of problems. So it was that following a difficult Aliyah, we decided to use the challenges to provide valuable information to others making Aliyah. Information that will assist to ease their process.

Amongst the information provided, we also share stories of the Beauty of Eretz Yisrael. Stories that give Olim Chizuk and the will to keep striving to acquire Eretz Yisrael no matter how hard the challenge.

For this we would like your help. If you have visited Eretz Yisrael or even if you live here, if you had a special experience in Sem or Yeshiva. Perhaps a special Shabbos experience. Perhaps coming to Eretz Yisrael made your Torah learning come alive. Perhaps you were touched by putting Tefillin on Jews at the Kotel or giving out Shabbos candles some where in Israel. Whatever the story, if it is inspiring and will help others to increase in their appreciation and love of Eretz Yisrael, please send us your story and we will be happy to share it on our blog
If you have a story to share that can be posted on the above blog, please email it to us. Stories should be 400 - 800 words in length and edited.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Shoshanah Shear

Monday, 1 August 2011

NEW: Customer Service at the Ministry of Health

I had occasion to call the Ministry of Health, in Israel of course, for the umteenth time in the last few weeks. I prepared myself something to do while waiting for the length of time until someone actually answers. I called the number that usually goes through to the person related to my profession and what a pleasant surprise. In only a few rings the call went to an option of Hebrew or English. I did not wait to listen further. 

2 -  For English, sounds good to me. OK, I got a Hebrew speaker but someone answered.

Yes, the Ministry of Health has a new service, a Customer Service. You get to speak to a real person very quickly and the person will pleasantly ask who you need to talk to, the nature of your need, your name, Id Number (so have it ready if you dont know it by heart) and your contact phone number, and a promise that someone will get back to you in 48 hours.

All you ahve to do to call the customer service is dial *5400.

I dont know how you get to talk to an English Speaker if you need it, perhaps just try talking in English instead of admitting you speak Hebrew. Of course if you would like to practise your Hebrew, go right ahread and enjoy the opportunity.

It has only been a few hours, so I cant yet tell you if they actually return your call after 48 hours, but so far it is a vastly improved service from calling and calling and calling and calling and waiting for the person you need to get through to.

For those wanting to learn a little Hebrew, Ministry of Health is Misrad HaBriyut or משרד הבריאות


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