Free Therapy for Aliyah Blues

Why pay a therapist when a good laugh can do wonders. There’s help for that post-aliyah depression – just around the corner at Daniella Ashkenazy’s open-all-night ‘pharmacy for the soul’. Every oleh/olah encounters rough spots when they wonder what they’re doing in this crazy country – remembering the over rosy-cosy pictures of the future they had back home, the excitement of the first month or first year (each of us has their own breaking point). Alas, acculturation is a process that doesn’t happen overnight (I was once a new immigrant, I know). Every oleh desperately needs a reason a laugh from time to time – even if it may be a hollow one. For that much-needed laugh there is a solution: Log on to CHELM-ON-THE-MED© ONLINE .* Why? When it comes to the “craziness of living in Israel” – never a dull moment and and exasperating and inexplicable at times, particularly for newcomers – it is nice to know that even veteran Israelis not just olim can find themselves in the jaws of the bureaucracy, fighting Kafka-like ordinances or administrative decisions, or just chutzbadike behavior – like the condo in Tel Aviv that found that for years the municipality had connected an adjacent public park to their water meter, then refused to readjust their huge water bills, or the matron whose car was stolen while hosting a penny poker game with her girlfriends whose insurance company refused to cover her loss saying she was running a “gambling house” (which she had failed to cited on her insurance application) because she served refreshments… And on the other hand, there are the stories on Chelm-on-the-Med© Online that will remind you “what you are doing here” – such as the re-possessor who came to take the frig from a poor family, took one look inside the mostly-empty frig, scribbled ‘nothing to repossess’ on the court order, took out his wallet, handed the head of the household a 100 NIS note and walked out the door. Or the cops at a Ashkelon police station who (after a police officer was sent to investigate and record a death) got together to form a minyan for an old lady who died without any kin to say kaddish at her funeral. The cops even took up a collection for a nicer gravestone. While original “Wise Men of Chelm” stories are tall tales – Chelm-on-the-Med stories are incredible but genuine new stories – gleaned from the mainstream Hebrew press. Laugh. (Dip into the archives if you need a higher dose.) Share your favorites with others* (not just olim, but even your folks at home who still can’t understand what you are doing here.) Daniella Ashkenazy CEO and Founder of The Chelm Project “Transforming Israel’s Image – One Chuckle at a Time” * PLEASE NOTE: The Chelm Project operated for 9 years (until Dec 2017) but the archives are chock full of stories that will keep you laughing and are still all-so relivant vis-a-vis life in Israel) – the book entitledUNRULY:What the Wildest and Wackiest News Stories Can Tell Us in the Subtext about How Israeli Society Ticks is under development . The Chelm Project is a pro bono endeavor. There is NO WRITER’S FEE for reprinting your favorite – OK even two of your favorites from any one column. Do so anywhere (your blog, newsletter, newspaper, radio program) as long as the source – “Chelm-on-the-Med Online” or the URL – is cited.

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