(Based on a True Story! We changed the name of the Olim! And the dog!)
By Aaron Pomerantz
Last Updated 9/3/2022 at 5:30 PM
Tel Aviv: The nation was rocked yesterday by shocking news that threatens the Zionist ethos of Aliyah to its very core. Responding to an angry email from Liami published reports, Israel’s Misrad Klita (Ministry of Absorption) admitted that the “Va’ad Bayit” does not actually exist. That’s right, the additional maintenance fees that Olim have dutifully paid each month to their Building’s “Superintendent” was just a giant prank/scam that Israelis have been playing on Olim since the 1970’s. The Daily Freier set out to get to the bottom of this disturbing story.
The Daily Freier met with recent British Oleh David S., the heroic Whistleblower who first uncovered this deception. “A woman in my Building yelled at me about all of the hair that my dog Fred was leaving in the stairwell.” David explained. “I told her that I pay 100 Shekels monthly Va’ad Bayit to my Landlord and that it’s not my problem. She stared at me for ten seconds and then told me that there is no Va’ad Bayit in the Building.” (Real World Editor’s Note: This. Really. Happened.)
In our Quest for the Truth, the Daily Freier then met with American Oleh Danny C. “Each month I get a note on my door explaining who owes Va’ad Bayit, what the money goes toward, and when the next Building meeting will take place. So on the day of the Building Meeting, I knocked on my neighbor’s door and asked where everyone else was. He looked at me like I was on drugs. I told him that according to the memo, this was where the Building Meeting was taking place. He told me that they don’t actually have meetings.” Danny stared into space for a minute and then continued. “I heard that he got in a lot of trouble for telling me the truth.” (Real World Editor’s Note: This. Also. Really. Happened.)
Finally, the Daily Freier spoke with one of the many perpetrators of the scam, Tel Aviv resident Irit M. “Every year we take the Va’ad Bayit money and have a party in HaYarkon Park with balloons and a Bouncy Castle for the kids.” Irit explained. “We wait for a day that none of the Olim in our building will be around. Sometimes we contact Misrad Klita and ask them to call the Olim in for fake ridiculous appointments about their education benefits or something.“
As the Daily Freier got up to leave, we asked Irit just how this scheme was able to go on for so long. “Because you Olim are SO Gullible!” Irit chuckled. “I bet you still think that the Hebrew language has vowels!”
Ben Gurion Airport: President Biden’s historic Middle East visit is in crisis this evening upon the news that nobody at the airport has a clue where his luggage is currently located. Even before Corona, Ben Gurion was never really known for “Customer Service” per se. It’s not really our thing here in Israel, and we like to think that it’s actually part of our charm! But with Corona rules quickly fading away, Ben Gurion Airport slowly realized that the employees it placed on unpaid leave aren’t coming back. So, nothing’s getting done and you’re never getting your bags. Like Ever. Even if you’re the President of the United States. The Daily Freier wandered around Terminal One as dozens of White House Aides frantically searched for the President’s baggage.
As news of Joe’s missing bags slowly sunk in, a phalanx of extremely excited young men and women wearing khakis and dockers quickly fanned out in a frantic scavenger hunt. First, they ran into Moti from Ground Handling. “How should I know?” asked Moti as he chewed on sunflower seeds in the break room. “Bags are Bags. Maybe you should come back tomorrow when Gila returns from the Kinneret. She’s pretty smart about these things.“
Undaunted by their lack of success with Moti, the White House team moved on to Baggage Claim, only to run into a family of distraught Canadian tourists walking through a veritable graveyard of unclaimed bags. The White House aides asked our Canadian friends if they had seen a set of pristine blue gym bags with the words “POTUS” and “Joe from Scranton” written in white cursive letters on the side. The Canadians, being Canadians, apologized profusely that they had not in fact seen the Presidents bags before returning to their desperate attempt to find their property before Airport employees looted the bags then destroyed them in a crusher. (Ha Ha! Just kidding! That would NEVER happen! Wait…. It just happened. Oops. Our bad.)
With night quickly approaching, the Presidential team spotted several cleaning personnel smoking cigarettes outside of Terminal One. Had they seen the bags? “Are you from America?” asked Nadav. “Next month I want to go to Miami and Las Vegas and New York. I’m going to rent a car. So where are the good outlet malls?” The President’s advance team informed Nadav that they were quite busy right now and did not have time to discuss the finer points of American Road Trips, but Nadav was undeterred. “Where does The Rock live?“
Damascus: In a scene right out of spy Thrillers like “Fauda” or “Tehran“, Israel has infiltrated Damascus International Airport, crippling Iranian weapons shipments. Yet this feat was accomplished not by the vaunted Israeli Air Force, nor was it accomplished by the secretive Mossad. Rather, Damascus Airport was taken down by an elite team from El Al Airlines. You see, when it comes to really screwing up air travel, nobody comes close to the expertise of El Al. There is even a Facebook group to complain about them (Spoiler Alert: They don’t care). In order to get the whole story, The Daily Freier spoke with stranded travelers and employees at Damascus Airport via Zoom and pestered some real journalists who were actually on the scene.
“Somebody just took down our website.” complained Ahmed from the Airport’s IT office. “How do you take down a website that runs on Windows 95? Who still has access to that technology? Our country has been in a civil war for 11 years. What’s your excuse?”
“I’ve been on hold for 7 hours.” noted a frustrated woman named Fatima as she watched her 3 children while trying to reach a customer service representative. “If this sorcery is the work of the Jews, then they are even more clever than we previously believed.“
While we spoke to Fatima, another traveler joined in and noted his experience. “I finally got through on the telephone to a human.” explained Saleh. “Unfortunately, he told me that the only person who can help me is on Maternity Leave. When I told him that my luggage has been lost for 3 days, he called me a Liar.“
The International Community was quick to condemn Israel’s actions at Damascus Airport. A spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry declared that “The provocative Israeli attack against essential civilian infrastructure is an absolutely unacceptable violation of international norms”. (REAL WORLD NON-SATIRE ALERT: Russia really really said this.)
Dimona: A serious accident was narrowly averted today at the Dimona Reactor after night-shift personnel turned on the Television in the break room while the heater was running and tripped the circuit breaker. For those who are unfamiliar, this has been a particularly cold winter in Israel, with temperatures plunging low enough that people from actual cold place like Chicago or Canada continue to make fun of us. Yet people who actually live in Israel lose their mind when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (12 Hectares). In addition, Israel was in such a hurry to establish itself and build housing and workplaces for the in-gathering of Exiles that we forgot the minor detail of “insulation.” Then there’s the electricity thing. To the best of our knowledge, Israeli buildings had their electric outlets installed by ferrets suffering from ADHD. So the whole thing is a Balagan.
When the circuit breaker popped early this morning, the shift workers were in a panic until one of them noticed a magnet on the side of the reactor with the name of a good Installator/Electrician who showed up promptly and fixed the problem for a reasonable price (OK, we admit that this part of the story is absurd). Things were back to normal by the 8 AM Shift Change.
It’s a good thing there’s no nuclear weapons down there or this would have been a Real Crisis.
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.“
Tel Aviv, Ibn Gavriol: Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv residents “in the know” are facing a dramatic new reality: You don’t need to work for Wolt to be a total dick.* The city has re-discovered a Tel Aviv icon named Dan who is proving once again that being a total dick is a state of mind that should not depend on working for a company where the drivers appear to be encouraged to run over pedestrians on the sidewalk, block bike lanes, and ignore crosswalks.
You see, the Daily Freier first met Dan G. in 2015 when he refused to give in to the Knife Intifada and instead kept going about his business of being a jerk. Next, we caught up with Dan in 2019 when he proved that with an e-scooter, one did not actually need a car to park like a dick. But now Dan is taking a stand once again, insisting that he does not need to work for Wolt to maintain his credential as a total zayin. The Daily Freier caught up with Dan to hear his side of the story.
“You see that?” Dan asked, motioning to a Wolt driver jumping a curb and almost hitting a woman before blocking the sidewalk with his bike and walking into a restaurant to grab an order. “That’s amateur hour. Call me when you double park your car, walk into a supermarket, then cut the line claiming you were there before and just left for a moment.”
The Daily Freier asked Dan if he felt that the proliferation of Wolt drivers doing mildly sociopathic things was diluting his own personal brand of being a dick. “That’s a good question.” Dan mused as he stood in the bike lane forcing cyclists onto the sidewalk. “The Covid epidemic and the rise of takeout food allowed a lot of these guys the opportunity to get paid while making life difficult for others. But what’s going to happen after Corona?” Dan thought for a moment as his unleashed dog chased another dog. “They’re going to learn that their blue insulated delivery bag was just a crutch.”
As the Daily Freier ended the interview, a Wolt deliveryman asked us to step off of the narrow sidewalk into the street so he could pass more easily. Dan stared at him for a moment in silent awe.
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.
Tel Aviv, HaKirya: Israel scored a major victory today over Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip, as sources claim that dozens of Hamas fighters were killed in their underground bunkers. Yet the tactical deception that preceded the attack is just as important as the aerial strikes. You see, The IDF sent out a tweet claiming that the IDF was attacking “in the Gaza Strip” leading Hamas troops to move to their attack tunnels. However, whoever wrote the Tweet had as much of a grasp of English prepositions as the guy on Banana Beach last year who wanted to sleep with you and/or invite you to his mom’s Moshav for Shabbat that weekend. In fact, IDF troops were engaged in combat operations on the Israeli side of the border. The Daily Freier rushed to an impromptu News Conference at IDF Headquarters on Kaplan Street.
As newscasters from throughout Israel and the World waited, an IDF spokesperson named Dudi strolled into the briefing room carrying a darbuka drum and a bag of sunflower seeds.
“The ehhmm….ehmm the Tweet it was good, no?” inquired Dudi as he rolled a spliff and sipped a coffee hafuch.
An attractive female newscaster from Denmark asked Dudi just what went into the strategic decision to trick Hamas with false information.
“Ehhm, it was a big nothing, you understand what I’m saying?” Dudi replied while winking. Then he offered the newscaster a chaser of Arak.
The Daily Freier demanded to know how a World-Class Military force with access to thousands of native-English speaking citizens failed to produce proper English sentences, yet Dudi responded that all of the Anglo Olim in Israel had been called up on emergency taskings in order to augment the IDF’s Olah Hadashah Code talking Unit.
As the news conference drew to a close, Dudi indicated that upon completion of his IDF obligations, he would go back to writing the English translations for Tel Aviv menus.
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.
Live from Tel Aviv. This is like Satire and Stuff.