immigrants, Israeli kids, Israeli life


As my children grow, it’s definitely a funny experience to be an American raising Israeli kids. My children speak English in the house, and they know about many American things. We are often caught off-guard, however, with the little nuances in their thought processes, with the expressions they use and with the endearing accents that they have.

I recently posted a video of the boys on Facebook, and I was flooded with responses about how cute their Israeli accents are. I don’t notice their accents on a daily basis (except for Zeli and his “Ch” instead of “H”) – they are just my kids. But then something reminds me that I’m really raising Israeli kids and it’s always a bit of a surprise.

Two examples.

During the Seder, we were discussing why Hashem kept the Jews in the desert for so long. Couldn’t he have brought them to Eretz Yisrael a bit sooner? Did they really have to wander and experience so much hardship on their way back?

Yehuda’s answer was that the Jews needed to toughen up. They had to become fighters rather than slaves, and the only way to get that fighting spirit was to endure hardship and come face to face with enemies for years on end. Josh was immediately struck by how “Israeli” his answer was. There are many other ideas about why the Jews were kept wandering for so long – this one, however, showed such an Israeli mentality.

Example two. Zeli, who is only three, came home from school yesterday with a new expression. Out of nowhere, he started saying “SABABA!” Now, sababa is a great expression. It means, “cool” or “alright man” or “great to hear it.” There are few things funnier and more endearing than hearing your three year old suddenly pipe up with a new Israeli expression that he clearly learned outside of the home.


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