Tag: Only in Israel

Oleh who actually converted his foreign Drivers License gives TED Talk

Daily Freier TED Talk

*Based on a true story!

By Emily Goldstein and Mark Levy

Last Updated 11/21/2017 at 2:20 PM

Namal Tel Aviv: Israel’s Olim Community turned out in their finest outfits at Tel Aviv’s upscale Namal Port for the event of the season: a TED Talk by a recent immigrant to Israel entitled “I converted my Foreign License and got a valid Israeli Drivers License”. Jeff Schwartz, an Oleh (Sorta) Hadash mesmerized the crowd with his story of personal courage and determination and the harrowing test of wills he experienced at Holon’s Misrad Rishui (Department of Motor Vehicles).

You see, back in the Old Days, Israel determined that somewhere on the Nefesh B’ Nefesh flight over here, Olim forgot the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, they needed to take a drivers test administered by bureaucrats who totally did not have a  lucrative side deal going with Israeli driving instructors. Anyhoo, thanks to the good people at Keep Olim in Israel, the law changed. And now it’s completely simple to convert your foreign drivers license to an Israeli one. HaHa! Just some “Only in Israel!” humor for you! The whole thing is still a total mess! And we love it! Because once again, this topic has rescued the Daily Freier from Writer’s Block! Here on Planet Israel, there are actually thousands of dedicated public servants in the Motor Vehicle Department. And each of them is very diligently observing to the letter of the law their own personal interpretation and philosophy as to what the rules “really” mean.

Before the speech, the Daily Freier was able to speak with Ada, the Clerk at the Motor Vehicle Department who gave Jeff his license. “We demand that you bring a valid foreign license as well as proof that you have driven for more than 5 years….. So he brought every drivers license he has ever owned from New Mexico, Florida, Oregon, and the American Military. He said he had kept them all “just in case”….. this man was a bizarre weirdo with clear hoarder tendencies….. I really respected that.

So by actually taking the bus to Holon and hanging out in the Motor Vehicle Department all day and leaving with a license… well Jeff is a bit of a folk hero now. And people want to know his secret to success.

He’s basically my role model” explained Grant, a South African Oleh as the crowds left tonight’s talk and stepped into the Tel Aviv evening. “I think he should be in some sort of  ‘Profiles in Aliyah Courage’ or something.

He’s so fearless!” explained an Olah named Melissa to the Daily Freier’s Emily Goldstein. “I really feel like I need to get to know him better.” Melissa confided as she absent-mindedly twirled her hair.

Due to the overwhelming success of his speeches, Jeff has several more TED Talks planned this winter, to include:

1) “I bought fruit in the Shuk without getting screwed on the prices”
2) “I have more than 2 Israeli friends”
3) “HOT cable returned my phone call”
4) “The cab drivers at Savidor Station don’t think I’m a freier”

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“But if my parents make Aliyah, who will shlep my shopping to Israel?” American Olah sues Nefesh B’ Nefesh

Living the Dream Aliyah Nefesh B' NefeshDISCLAIMER: This article has been submitted by a guest writer and by no means represents the editorial opinion of the Daily Freier. ‘Cuz we mamash love Nefesh B’ Nefesh. Live the Dream!

By Chava Ewa

Last Updated 10/29/2017 at 3:30 PM

Ramat Beit Shemesh-Aleph: An American Olah-Sorta-Hadasha has served Nefesh B ‘Nefesh with a restraining order, stipulating that the esteemed Aliyah agency stay no less than 500 meters from her parents and “not to try to reach them on Pinterest.” Ramat Beit Shemesh-Aleph resident Sherrie M. has laid down the law with Nefesh B’Nefesh on behalf of her elderly parents. Nefesh B’ Nefesh is now barred from any contact or communication with Sherry’s parents for a period of 10 years. Speaking from her home, Sherrie explained how distressed she was upon learning that a Nefesh representative had spoken at their family Shul and was passing out brochures.

The fliers said ‘Live the Dream‘. But how do they know what my parents’ dream is? Maybe their dream is to stay in New Jersey and come visit me every four months with three extra suitcases of my online purchases. Did they every think of that? Huh???

They’re selfish! They’re only thinking about themselves and their agenda… shame on them for taking advantage of vulnerable older people like that!” Sherrie fumed while browsing Amazon for pumpkin spice k-cups. “You think two cases is enough? Or should I get three? What about Ziplocs?

Despite all the current drama, Sherrie assured the Daily Freier that she was reasonable and open to compromise. “I would be happy if they spoke with Nefesh once the restraining order is up. Besides, in 10 years Shloimie my oldest boy should be going off to YU. So you know, I will just have Target ship everything to his dorm and he can bring it to me during Spring Break, Summer Break, the Chagim, and Chanukah.

Using their online package tracer, the Daily Freier was able to follow an Amazon delivery truck to the Teaneck, New Jersey home of Murray and Rhonda, Sherrie’s parents. “Our daughter is a true Zionist pioneer and we are so proud of her. Things are difficult over there. Even Target is afraid to ship to them! So if we can help her by bringing a few things, it’s the least we can do.” explained Rhonda. “Imagine if she had to go to the mall. I mean, those are dangerous places! Our ladies tehillim group has been davening for that poor boy lost in Dizengoff center since 2015. Wait…. did he ever make his way out?

Guy that saw you get stung by jellyfish really really wants to pee on you now

Jellyfish Daily Freier(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Emily Goldstein

Last Updated 7/2/2017 at 2:15 PM

Tel Aviv, Gordon Beach: Ouch that really stings! OMG this really really hurts! Jellyfish I hate you! I really really hate you! But wait, there’s a guy waving at you from the shore and it looks like he wants to help you. Only in Israel!

So he’s looking at the sting on your arm. This really really hurts! But he said he can make the pain away. By peeing on the sting. Wait what? And what is it about this City and Pee?

But you’ve heard about this before. I mean, it sounds familiar. Just happy that he was able to respond so quickly to help you. Like, really really quickly. But what’s with the binoculars around his neck? Almost like he was scanning the beach. And why does he need TWO water bottles? I mean, we all need to stay hydrated. But he seems, like, really really hydrated.

So he’s telling you that he needs to pee on the wound. Right. Now….. But wait. The lifeguard is coming over to you. And this Good Samaritan Dude is not happy about this at all. So the lifeguard just sprayed some vinegar on your arm. Wow that feels really good! But Mister Pee just stormed off in a huff.

Wait. Now he’s scanning the ocean with his binoculars. OMG somebody in the water just screamed that they got stung. And now he’s running into the surf and waving at her.

Welcome to Israel.

Air Force One Accidentally Joins Israeli Independence Day Flyover

The Daily Freier By Lee Saunders

Last Updated 5/2/2017 at 10:30 AM

Tel Aviv, Gordon Beach: Israeli Security Agency Shin Bet pooped a brick and a half this morning when Donald Trump’s Air Force One accidentally appeared in the country’s Independence Day aerial flyover.

The whole Middle East held its breath as the U.S. President’s private jet, returning from a photographic tour of the Hezbollah Gorillas In the Mist, suddenly veered left, pirouetted and somersaulted into the Israeli Air Force’s procession up the Mediterranean coast.

The crowd ooooohed and aaaaahed but it was clear that the annual display was only supposed to feature F-35’s, F-52’s, B-52s, Commodore 64s, paper planes, the helicopter from the A-Team, the Starship Enterprise, the hot air balloon starring Wonderwoman Gal Gadot, and a drone owned by patriotic forgetful taxpayer/model Bar Refaeli. Incidentally, United Airlines was not invited. And El Al was late. And then, out of nowhere, a plume of orange smoke sent terrified beachgoers diving for cover.

The Donald, unusually defensive, tried to defuse the situation: “Why the fuss? Melania didn’t believe me that Israel was the size of New Jersey. I wanted to show her. Happy 69th Birthday Israel. 69 is the best number. Just the best. I love that number and believe me, I have had a lot of numbers. #69tweeted the U.S. President, with a winky emoji.

Never one to reveal too much, Press Secretary Sean ‘I’m-calm-now‘ Spicer added: “Afterwards, the President had a very lively, I mean friendly, chat with Israeli PM Benjamin No-you-can’t-do-too-yoo-hoo. We are also planning to display the might of the US Air Force…. in a surprise flyover… starting in Washington DC at 8pm on Saturday…. after the Trumps come back from a celebratory dinner on the Champs-Élysées with the Le Pens, Les Pens, the Pens, Ha Penim. Whatever. With fountain pens and stationery. Damn it. I don’t know. It’s been 105 days. And I’m tired.

North Korea’s little dicta-doll, Kim Wrong Un almost choked on his Sausage and Egg McMuffin in disbelief.

#goingtohellinahandbasket
#hunkerdownandprayfordaylight

American Oleh trapped in Ulpan Gordon for 7 Years

Jeff Schwartz 2By Yekutiel Bornstein and Aaron Pomerantz

Last Updated 9/27/2016 at 5:45 PM

Tel Aviv, LaSalle: Today the Daily Freier shares a story of setbacks, the Triumph of the Human Spirit, and an inability to memorize basic verb forms. Now entering his 8th year in Kita Bet, Oleh Not-So-Hadash Jeff S. is still unable to pass the end of course exam, and is thus trapped inside of the Ulpan Gordon Language School in Tel Aviv.  The Daily Freier spoke with Jeff during his 10 AM break.

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong” wondered Jeff.  “It just feels like I’m in some sort of rut. I mean, my Hebrew hasn’t really improved since Obama’s first Term, but then again my conversational Russian and French are really getting good!”

Despite Jeff’s failings as a student, the dedicated faculty have not given up on him. When he finally mastered Past Tense Verbs last year, the teachers threw him a party. “It was kind of like a Bar Mitzvah.” explained Ulpan Gordon’s Principal, wiping away tears. “And when he made the Bracha on the wine, he was just as illiterate as he was back in 2009.

Unable to graduate and thus depart the premises, Jeff survives from day-to-day on the snack bar, occasional birthday cake, and emergency rations from the U.S. Embassy Citizens’ Services Section. Various Birthright tours passing through drop off messages from his family, as well as Hebrew flashcards.

The years of isolation have taken their toll on Jeff. He currently makes cultural reference from the 2000’s Decade, to include “Friendster“, “You’re Fired“, and “The OC“. He is currently unaware of Post-First Generation iPhones. His “Arrested Development” quotes are still funny though.

Jeff has become somewhat of an institution at Ulpan Gordon. His current teacher, Shirli, is in fact the daughter of his first teacher in 2009, Nava.  “B’zrat HaShem, some day my granddaughter or grandson will teach him.” mused Nava. Shirli also shared her mother’s affection for Jeff.  “He gets along really well with my family. My five-year old Uri adores him. But lately, Uri’s been expanding his vocabulary and finds their conversations somewhat limited and a bit boring.”

In addition to Jeff’s friendships with the faculty, he has managed to maintain somewhat of a social life as well. In 2010, Jeff dated, married, and got divorced from a French Olah in his class. Nava explained the situation to us. “We held the reception in the auditorium. We had soda, cake, and a slide show. It was actually quite tasteful.” In order to get all sides of the story, the Daily Freier contacted Joane, Jeff’s ex. “I really enjoyed class with Jeff. But he was never there for me to help around the house.”  explained Joane.

Many people wonder just how this tragedy has been allowed to go on so long. The Daily Freier contacted the Misrad HaKlitah (Ministry of Absorbtion) to find out. “Normally, recent immigrants are only granted 5 months of free Hebrew lessons.” explained Uzi, from the Front Desk. “But we really just want to see where this ends up. So every 5 months we extend his benefits.  We actually have a bit of a betting pool going.” Uzi then lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned in closer to us. “By the way, just curious, but when you saw him, was he able to name all of the Hebrew Vowels yet?”

The Daily Freier then contacted Nefesh B’Nefesh to demand answers on how they allowed this situation to continue.  A Dati Leumi woman from their Jerusalem Office named BatSheva or Elisheva or JustSheva answered our phone call. “Whenever an Oleh from North America stays here more than six months without moving back, we consider this a win.  So he’s really good for our statistics.”

UPDATE: The IDF mounted a clandestine operation this evening to rescue Jeff from Ulpan Gordon, as they have a Squad Leader position in their Olah Hadashah Code Talker Unit that needs to be filled.

 

 

 

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Tel Aviv ice cream salesman becomes overnight millionaire

Israeli ice cream salesman becomes overnight millionaire Daily Freier

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Lee Saunders

Last Updated 8/22/2016 at 7:00 AM

Tel Aviv, Bograshov Beach:  Israel is celebrating another major start-up success as a local ice cream salesman was floated as an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the Tel Aviv and New York Stock Exchanges.

To sun-worshipping residents of Tel Aviv, the familiar cries of “Arctic” up and down the city’s beaches are as familiar as a hug and a phone call from your Jewish mother. But this week, the appearance of the charming leathery-skinned Shlomo Cohen had an extra glow as it emerged he has been launched as “Arctic Ltd” on two of the world’s major stock exchanges.

Selling Magnums and Ice Lollies for NIS 15 apiece has seen the once-broke pensioner float on the New York Stock Exchange, with a share price of $43, and catapulted onto the Forbes List of Really Really Rich People, ahead of disappointed Israeli model/actress Bar Refaeli.

I never felt bad about charging NIS15 for frozen crap on a stick, there is a market for it and when people’s brains are baking slowly, they will hand over their best friends if you ask.” said Shlomo. Tel Aviv’s Sunbathers were happy for Shlomo, if not exactly surprised. “It just highlights the entrepreneurial spirit of the country, and that fortune can hit you at any time here.” added local Amir Goldenberg, who plans to launch “WaterForYou” off the back of his scooter, to compete with the NIS 25 per bottle charged by some of the beach cafes.

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange Spokesperson, Tal A. explained “We are the Start-Up Nation, and this elderly gentleman has shown that you can be broke your whole life in Israel but it matters less how you live, but more where you finish.

Cohen, 64 from Netanya, does not plan to retire but he does plan to buy a new vest from Castro and a sunhat from Carmel Market and may expand to cover the beaches of Herzliya. To the delight of the tiny straight minority population of Tel Aviv, Bar Refaeli has applied for a part time job with him.

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