Jerusalem: Geula is upon us! As the month of Elul continues, Israelis have miraculously united. Instead of the Internets being filled with Lashon Hara, Sinat Chinam and endless debates about vaccines, Israelis of all stripes have come together in the spirit of Ahavat Yisrael. That’s because they’re sharing Amazon links for free shipping on fluffy towels, kitchen gadgets, and jumbo sized boxes of those little Ziploc bags that you still can’t find in Israel.
“This free Amazon shipping is like the Beis haMikdash.” explained Jerusalem Yeshiva Bochur Uri L. “Am Yisroel got it, but we didn’t deserve it, so it got taken away. We cried and repented and mercifully we got it again, but our Averios caused us to lose it again.” Uri grabbed a handful of sunflower seeds and continued. “Now, it’s like the 3rd temple has been given to us.”
Desperate for answers, the Daily Freier asked Uri for his theory on exactly how we managed to merit such miracles like free shipping. “It’s because we Sephardim were getting up for slichos.” Uri’s roommate Yaakov chimed in. “No, it’s because of kabbalistic reasons.” Nachman, Uri’s other roommate argued “You see, Elul has a special mazal.” Hearing their discussion from the hallway, their classmate Shneorr Zalman interjected by quoting a Maamar from the Rebbe. Frustrated at his friends, Uri cried out “No, all of you guys are wrong! We got this bracha because Am Yisroel is totally unified!”
As the Daily Freier got up to leave, Uri asked us if we wanted to join him in a vitamin multi-level marketing balagan “after the Chagim.“
Jerusalem: Exciting news is afoot at Israel’s Intelligence Agency, as the Mossad has begun recruiting its newest agents from Israel’s Seminaries. This story seemed too crazy to be real, but according to our local Mossad Agent/avid Daily Freier reader “Yuval”, it’s legit. We caught up with Yuval waiting on line at the Post Office and he filled us in on their new strategy.
“We started out recruiting Yeshiva Bochers but it didn’t really work out.” Yuval explained. “The Frum guys couldn’t gather information because they literally didn’t know how to talk to women and were always staring at the ground….. and the Modern Orthodox guys quickly blew their cover bragging to all the Birthright girls how they were Secret Agents. So now we just recruit Sem girls.“
Yuval introduced us to his newest recruits: Dassie, Shevy and Chavie. Our first question was whether their bulletproof black tights and pleated denim skirts were a uniform issued by the Mossad. “No!” Dassie laughed and explained that she was dressed totally differently from her co-agents. You see, she had bought her skirt at a shop “near the Tachana Merkazayis” while Shevy had bought hers “on Emek…..near fro-yo.” (Editor’s Note: We still don’t know what this means.)
“These girls can be speaking Hebrew, but between their heavy American accents and that yeshivish Ashkenazi pronunciation, nobody understands them!” Yuval enthused. “They can have Top Secret conversations in broad daylight!” Yuval then lowered his voice and asked us if we knew what the word “Koisel” meant. He’s heard the new recruits use it and is genuinely baffled.
Next, we then tested the girls’ powers of deduction by letting them look at our Facebook page for 2 minutes. Chavie pointed to a halfway-obstructed blurry group photo showing a young man standing behind a tree. “That guy’s from Teaneck, he was in Yeshiva with my cousin Yitzie. Give me a second and I’ll find his Shidduch resume and I’ll tell you how many generations back we’re related.”
Finally, we asked these highly-trained girls if they had plans to continue in the Intel field after they finished seminary.
Beit Shemesh: “There are Facebook friends who share memes and like your posts; but you know what makes a real friend? It’s the people who bring me stuff when they come to visit, or at least send stuff with their cousin.” noted Malky, a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh-Aleph. “But now that Osher Ad sells Montreal Steak Seasoning and I don’t need to smuggle it from North America, how do I know who my real friends are?” Malky took a long sip from her coffee and looked into the distance. “I don’t.“
“Yeah, I know that you can find Montreal Steak Seasoning at AM:PM.” she continued. “But who has that kind of money? I have 7 kids. I made Aliyah for cheap Yeshiva tuition.” (Editor’s note: We’re sure there were good Zionistic reasons to….) “You think I’m going to waste those savings on Montreal Steak Spice and duck sauce? And no, Amazon won’t ship it here. My programmer husband built an algorithm to periodically check Amazon to alert me if they started shipping it here.
The next question we had for Malky is how a busy mom like herself discovered that Osher Ad was selling Montreal Steak Seasoning. “Someone posted on the group.” she replied breezily. “The group?!” we asked.
You see, the same Start-Up Nation ingenuity that taught us to nudnik the US Embassy for appointments also started a Facebook group so people can alert one another when Osher Ad has Kirkland toilet paper in stock…. or Skippy peanut butter, which they’ve been out of for AGES!
The Daily Freier research team confirmed that this group exists (What, you think we made it up?) and promptly asked about where to buy those nice big rolls of Kirkland paper towels.
“You know…” Malky reminisced. “This reminds me of something my Russian grandmother said they used to do when the Soviet stores actually had meat in stock . One of the ladies on her floor would knock on everyone’s door and everyone would immediately go to the shop. Things were so difficult back then…. nothing like now!“
Editor’s Note: This is our SECOND story obsessing over McCormick Brand Montreal Seasoning in less than 6 months. So our message to McCormick Foods is the following: “Pay Us.“
Jerusalem: Are you unemployed with time on your hands? We are seeking folks with excellent Attention to Detail (mild OCD is a plus!) and a good internet connection for an exciting new business in Jerusalem!
Our Start-Up Nation ingenuity has found a way to solve the most pressing problem facing Olim in Israel (no, not the shortage of Skippy peanut butter or Kirkland toilet paper at Osher Ad)…. the lack of available appointments at the US Embassy.
You see, some people saw Corona as a challenge to overcome, whereas the U.S Embassy saw it as an opportunity to DO NOTHING. For a year. Seriously, they’re handing out appointments like Willie Wonka handed out Golden Tickets to his factory (But without the winsome charm of the late Gene Wilder, ז’ל.)
For a modest fee, one of our customer service specialists (OK, they’re all Kollel wives) will sit on the computer all day periodically refreshing the embassy website until an appointment opens up for you.
Listen to what this satisfied customer had to say: “So….umm….. does that mean your next venture is to pay people to sit at Osher Ad waiting for the delivery of Kirkland toilet paper? I would totally pay for that. Amazon has been so slow these days with my toilet paper orders.“
We are looking to fill positions immediately. No need for a TZ number…let’s not get those snoops at Maas Hachnasah involved. (“Strictly a fanciful jest!” -The Daily Freier Legal Department). Forward all inquiries to our HR Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jerusalem, Katamon: American Olim across Israel are puzzled by the bizarre behavior of their British, Canadian, and South African friends. You see, in the Diaspora we’re all Jewish. But somehow when we arrive here, the Israelis decide that we’re all “Anglo-Saxons” (really). Anyhoo, it turns out that Americans have less in common with their fellow English-speakers than one would initially suspect. The Brits and other assorted Commonwealthians are in fact all obsessed by potato chips (Wait… they’re called crisps? Really?) that taste like they fell in salad dressing at a picnic. And now a reasonable facsimile of those chips has arrived in Eretz HaKodesh.
“Look at them plotting their route of makolets; it’s like they’re planning the D-Day Invasion.” noted an American Olah named Dassie as she watched her roommates huddled in a Katamon Cafe. The object of their desire? Salt & Vinegar chips.
“Yesterday, I saw my roommate Hannah taking selfies in the supermarket like a teenager.” Dassie confided. “I’ve lived with this girl for 4 years and I haven’t seen her so excited since the time her cousin from Leeds came to visit and brought a suitcase full of Cadbury chocolate and PG Tips teas. Who makes such a fuss over something silly like that?“
As we sipped our ice coffee, we heard a ruckus in the snack section of a nearby kiosk, a British guy and a Canadian guy violently fighting over the last bag of salt & vinegar chips. The shocked kiosk owner remarked “Wow… A Canadian acting rude…. and a British guy showing emotion!Moshiach is coming!“
When we got finished laughing at this foolish reaction over silly potato chips, we accidentally told Dassie that we’re planning a trip back to the States this month and she asked us to bring back Ziploc bags, K Cups, Dunkin Donuts coffee beans, the new iphone, and some decent cleaning products.
Jerusalem, Katamon: “Find me a Sephardi boy… that’s all I hear this time of year. Nobody asks if a boy is a serious learner, has good middos or if he has job prospects. All these girls want is for me to find them a Sephardi boyfriend before Pesach.” explained Malka A, known as the best shadchanit in Katamon. We had come to Malka’s with our friend Shevy, who was newly single.
“Nu? What happened with this last boy…the Moroccan?” Malka inquired. “I didn’t have feelings for him.” Shevy explained. “But it was so hard to break up with him before Pesach….I kept hearing about this delicious rice pudding his mom serves at the Seder….and the amazing Mimouna his sister always hosts. Do you realize how I spent every Motzeh Pesach growing up??? Standing in line at the pizzeria for undercooked slices!”
Malka comforted Shevy on the breakup, brought out her book of shidduch résumés and assured her that she would soon find a boy with everything she was looking for… and who would bring her favorite flavor of Doritos on Pesach Tiyulim. “What about this guy? He’s cute! What is he, Tunisian?” Shevy asked as she flipped through the book.
“Him? No, he’s not for you.” Malka replied. “You’re a brunette and he said he only wants to date blondes.”
“Disgusting!” Shevy yelled as she slammed the book shut and stormed out. “How can men be so shallow?“
Tel Aviv: “What am I doing for Sylvester? Am I supposed to know him? And why are we supposed to be doing stuff for him? I don’t understand!” complained recent American Oleh Alex P. “All my Israeli friends keep asking me what I’m doing for Sylvester…. and I literally don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Alex explained that this past week, all his workmates could talk about was this mysterious guy named Sylvester. “One guy said he’s making a Barbecue for Sylvester. Another guy is hosting a wine & cheese party for him. My supervisor said he’s going to the pub for Sylvester. He invited me to join, but I didn’t know how to answer. I like pubs, but is this Sylvester guy coming with us? Wait, maybe Sylvester knows that other mystery guy Alan?”
As the Daily Freier got up to leave, we suggested that maybe Alex would understand his workmates better if he invited them out to socialize. “Yeah, I already tried that…and it totally didn’t work.” he explained. “I asked the guys if they wanted to do something fun for New Year’s, but they just laughed at me and said to ask them in 9 months.”
Tel Aviv: “It’s a hate crime! Ethnic discrimination! Racism!” cried Mindy R. “These stores and their discriminatory practices that make the food I like more expensive. It’s just because I’m Ashkenazi, isn’t it?“
Mindy, a Passaic native who now lives in Tel Aviv, tearfully described her experiences shopping for food at her local AM:PM supermarket. “These cultural micro-aggressions have got to stop!”
“They’re charging 21 Shekels for a tiny bottle of McCormick’s seasoning, and like 10 Shekels for a kilo of some random yellow spices I’ve never heard of.” Mindy complained. “Their motives are pretty obvious; they think they’re better than me and are trying to force me to be like them…. maybe I don’t want to serve yellow chicken and yellow rice and yellow vegetables for Shabbos like every Israeli I know? That’s why they made the jars of duck sauce so expensive, because they don’t want me to buy them! And yeah, I tried Amazon and Target but they don’t ship here.”
We headed to Mindy’s corner supermarket with her typical shopping list: jarred gefilte fish, duck sauce, and cream of mushroom soup (You know, the essentials!) in order to get the whole story from Rami the manager. “Am I racist against her? No way! That girl is one of my best customers; she easily spends 4000 Shekels every month!”
We asked Mindy why, if she felt uncomfortable at her local grocery store, couldn’t she just go to another store like Osher Ad? “I would need a car to get to a supermarket like that.” she said. “I would totally buy one, but groceries are sooo expensive.”
UPDATE: Stay tuned for tomorrow when this crisis migrates to Facebook and morphs into an angry rant on the popular page “Living Financially Smarter in Israel”!
Jerusalem: “What politically important issue are they protesting? Bibi’s corruption? Unfair draft laws? The lack of Skippy peanut butter these days?” asked Jerusalem resident Tamar R. as she passed a large crowd gathered on Yafo Street this morning. Upon further investigation, the Daily Freier discovered that the mass gathering was in fact a lineup for the Fox Clothing Store, which was restricting admission to only four customers at a time. “Who would wait three hours for sweatshirts?” pondered Tamar… until she saw her neighbor Aviva in line.
“I don’t mind waiting” explained Aviva. “We really built up a great community here in the past few hours. See that cute engaged couple almost at the door? When they started out at the back of the line, they didn’t even know each other!“
When the Daily Freier asked Aviva why she didn’t just shop online, she was confused. “You mean like Amazon?” she inquired. “That’s silly, they don’t sell Fox sweatshirts! Besides, they stopped their free shipping. And isn’t online shopping what I’m doing right now?… I mean, I am standing ON LINE….for Fox.“
As the Daily Freier waited and observed the Fox queue, a contingent of Peace Now activists descended on Yafo street, suspicious that this large gathering of people was trying to establish a new settlement outpost. “It’s not like that.” Tzvi, the Fox lineup leader explained. “But look, if establishing ourselves as am official community can get us some representation in the Knesset, then maybe it’s a good idea. You know, our numbers are growing every day.“
As the Daily Freier got ready to leave, we spotted Svetlana, our old Ulpan teacher standing in line. “Are you here to buy a sweatshirt or maybe some pajamas?” we asked. “I don’t even know, I just jumped in when I saw how long this line was.” Svetlana exclaimed “Look, I know enough from growing up in Russia that if you see a bunch of people standing in line for something, then it must be good! That’s what Communism taught me and it’s true!“
Jerusalem, Rasko: “After years of complaining about America, my cousins made Aliyah…. both the far-right and the far-left one!” gushed Jerusalem resident Chana N. “It all happened so fast, I didn’t even have time to ask them to bring me a suitcase full of Q-Tips, Montreal Spice, and Ziplocs.They arrived yesterday and immediately started their Aliyah blogs!”
Chana scrolled through her Facebook feed looking for each cousins’ posts. “Every time President Trump did something she didn’t like, my cousin Leora would write ‘That’s it! I can’t stay in America, I’m making Aliyah!‘ ….So far so good, right?”
“But with my other cousin, Miri, it was the exact same thing except it was Obama and Pelosi…. They’ve been saying it for years.”
Of course, when pressed about actually making Aliyah, each cited some vague excuses about ‘Parnasa’ and asked when Target and Amazon were going to start shipping to Israel. But after spending years as “Almost Olim“, America’s current Bi-Partisan Balagan helped make up their minds!
The Daily Freier reached both Leora and Miri on a Zoom call at their Quarantine Hotels. After politely listening to their gripes about the hotel food, we asked each woman why she made Aliyah: was it because of their Zionist ideals, a sense of religious duty, or were they escaping antisemitism? Miri chimed in. “First week of September my cousin in Israel is sending her kids to school and our old school district is closed! I’ll do anything to escape from a year of distance learning… Anything!”
In a show of solidarity and unity, both Leora and Miri vowed to wear their Nefesh B’ Nefesh hats until Moschiach arrives.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.