So I got to the meeting with the Shaliach and realized how much I missed being interrogated by hot Israeli Security agents. After about 15 minutes of interrogation through three inch thick bullet proof glass I was cleared to go into the next room. Being brought into the next room, the doors were about four inches thick, the door shut behind me and a green light goes on indicating that if the security agent wishes, the other door is no longer magnetically sealed, and he can use his key to open it – only one door can be opened at a time.
I then walk through a metal detector twice and then on another table the security agent goes through my bag. I thank him; and he pulls a key that’s chained to his belt and lets me in through the second door and I’m brought into a lavish waiting room (we’re a couple of blocks away from lex, in midtown).
My heart was racing…not from the interrogation, but from the interrogator…Israelis are beyond attractive and he was being aggressive too…see, 15 minutes of interrogation and he knows how I like my men. Bless him.
I then meet my Shaliach, Liran. She asks if I’d like some coffee and she and I walk to the coffee room and converse and she reminds me to slow down a few times, remarking that “your English is like my Hebrew” and I think to myself that I’d like my Hebrew to be as fast as my English.
We walk back to her office and I pull out the multi-tabbed portfolio that I have all of my completed documents organized in; and our meeting officially comes to a start. We have a long conversation with each other (her getting to know me, well more than I her) and, and finally she says “what would you like” and I said “I would like to learn Hebrew on a Kibbutz, then I want to serve in the IDF, then I want to get my Masters degree and then I want to live in Israel” and she says “Good, that’s the plan I was outlining for you in my head; allow me to go into more detail, beseder?” to which I reply “beseder”:
“You will go to this Kibbutz Ulpan program, it is five months; you will work three days a week and study three days a week, beseder?”
“You will do this for five months, then you will go to another kibbutz that will prepare you for IDF service. You will have your adoptive family there. You will start basic training there, and meet commanders, and other personnel. You will not be serving together, you will serve where your interests are, some will be pilots, others infantry, but your apartments will be there and if you go home on the weekends, then you will see each other. You will be paid a higher salary because you are a lone soldier since you have no family in Israel. You will serve for four years, five if you wish to become a commander. I was a commander, I found it worthwhile. Most people, after they are done serving, take three or four months off; you however, will not. You serve your country, your country will serve you: your masters degree will be fully covered…it is incredibly important that you get your masters degree. Israelis do their four years in the IDF, then get their degree…instead, you have gotten your degree and are now doing your four years in the IDF, this means that when you leave the IDF you will have been acclimated to Hebrew in Ulpan, made friends on the second kibbutz, proved yourself in the IDF and made friends there and will be entering your graduate studies at the age that the other Israelis do, and you will finally be with your peers, beseder?”
“You will have no place to bring lots of things with you, you may bring with you two to three duffel bags, no more than 50 to 58 lbs each, beseder”
“You will apply to Nefesh B’Nefesh, they may not like it that you are not taking their flight. They receive most of their funding from the Israeli Government, they cannot turn you down for a grant, and if they do, you call me, and I will make sure that you get the Grant, beseder?”
“You will carbon copy me on any and all communication you have, Beseder?”
“Wonderful, I’ll see you in December and affix the visa to your passport, you’ll fly out in Early February or January. We’ll figure that out in December.”
After that, I called my Rabbi (in her office, she wanted an introduction) and he was pleased to hear that she wanted to speak at our Synagogue and asked me to give him her cell phone number, which I did. Her assistant then came and copied all of my papers (I was warned and told she’d kill me if I ever gave any israeli an original document…that I’m to only let them photocopy it and get it right back…so those apostilles are now in my families safe until I fly out) and was pleased to find that I’m organized (or at least, my paperwork always is).
I now have a few other papers that I need to send into her, and I have to harass my rabbi to fax them some information…and all of that can happen tomorrow.
But it’s happening…it doesn’t feel real yet, but it’s happening.