The war in Israel took me by surprise

I only arrived a year ago. At first I traveled a lot around the country and moved around a lot. And only now I found my first long-term accommodation – cheap, small and very cozy. And without a bomb shelter….. Who would have thought that a mamad (protected room) in a house would turn out to be so important. New houses in Israel are built with bomb shelters, but some people still live in old apartment buildings or in the inexpensive private sector.
Continue reading

Posted in Israel | Leave a comment

Israel: Why is there no railway to Eilat?

“Ever Given” jam

I’ve been pondering – why hasn’t Israel capitalized on the highly beneficial opportunity to transport goods from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea by building a railway?

Obviously, there’s the Suez Canal. The recent incident with the “Ever Given” (the container ship was grounded for a week; losses amounted to $10 billion per day) highlights the profitability of such a railway. Moreover, for certain types of cargo, a rail route would be far superior to the Suez – perishable goods, hazardous materials, diversification… in short, Continue reading

Posted in Israel | Leave a comment

Interesting phrases in Hebrew

While I was learning Hebrew with Duolingo, I came across a multitude of phrases that made me think, delighted me, or posed certain challenges. I decided to gather them all and share them with you. Perhaps this will be interesting to those who are also studying this language, or simply love to learn something new. Continue reading

Posted in Hebrew, Israel | Leave a comment

Immigration to Israel – Haifa

Haifa is where I learnt what the real Israel is all about! It’s considered a northern port city, located in a mountainous area by the Mediterranean Sea. Living on Adar (the cheapest neighbourhood near the market), shopping at the market at throwaway prices (and get a case of free fruits), walking along the world’s most beautiful sea path (walking along the water’s edge).
Many immigtants choose Haifa when they come to Israel and for good reason:
✅ low prices
✅ beautiful views
✅ sea and beaches
For me Haifa is by nature synonymous with Crimea (a mixture of Alupka and Koktebel), where I had the most delicious shawarma in Israel for only 20 shekels! Also, everything here is so colourful and there is a “metro” to the mountain (Carmelite).

Continue reading

Posted in Israel | Leave a comment

The Best Hebrew Self-study book

How to learn Hebrew on your own to make learning the language interesting and understandable. It is important to choose a good self-study textbook that explains the basics of the language in detail and has practical exercises. Anyone can learn from a self-study book, either in addition to an ulpan or completely on their own at a suitable pace. There are also lessons on youtube and various videos with subtitles, even the simplest cartoons. But today we’re going to focus on the tutorials.

How to start learning Hebrew

The very first step in learning Hebrew is the alphabet. It is convenient to learn it by using apps on your phone, where you are shown the letters, and you write them and listen to their names at the same time. You can learn the alphabet from books or websites, but in an app it is convenient that learning is interactive and you practice writing, listening, perceiving the spelling of the letter at once. It’s convenient to practice, as the apps randomly suggest writing one letter or another until you have it all memorized.

Initially we listened to the Pimsleur Hebrew audio course, after it we knew basic phrases, could say something in a store and have a primitive dialog. It is a very good program that brings you up to speed quickly. You can learn Hebrew without stress, just by listening to new lessons for an hour or two a day. You only learn to understand Hebrew by ear, but you can’t learn to read and write that way. But you get a more or less believable pronunciation and no fear of the new language.

The next thing I knew, there were video lessons on YouTube and Hebrew TV series with subtitles in English. There are great Israeli TV series about the life of religious Jews, such as Shababnikim. You begin to grasp the colloquial phrases and learn the cultural code of the country. And this is the most important thing to become interested and involved in Israel, to begin to understand the society in which you find yourself.

There is another great Hebrew TV series – Shtisel (about the life of Haredim, the ultra-Orthodox). With an elementary level of Hebrew you will hardly understand what people say in the movie, but you will get a general idea. You’ll start to pick up pronunciation, you’ll pick up words, and you’ll be captivated by the plot and characters. You get to know the streets where the movie is filmed – it’s so cool! And the subtitles allow you to understand what’s going on and follow the narration.

Hebrew self-study books

Having analyzed the literature, it turned out that there are several books that are often recommended for self-study of Hebrew:

Ivrit Me’Bereshit (עברית מבראשית — it’s more of a workbook, there are two levels, yellow alef and green bet)

Hebrew from Scratch עברית מן ההתחלה

Colloquial Hebrew: The Complete Course for Beginners

The book is fairly easy to find on the internet and is a complete course on Hebrew for English speakers, which is especially handy if you want to repeat English and learn Hebrew at the same time. Especially since the structures of the language are explained in different ways for a Russian-speaking and English-speaking person, and it can be interesting.

Find out your Hebrew level

To assess your level of Hebrew, you can take a test at the ulpan:

Posted in Hebrew | Leave a comment

Hebrew: biblical song אם השם לא יבנה בית

When I was about to go to Israel, I heard beautiful song at youtube.

I’m learning Hebrew right now, so I decided to take it apart. Here are the lyrics of what is being sung:

אם השם לא יבנה בית
שוא עמלו בוניו בו
אם השם לא ישמר עיר
שוא שקד שומר
הנה לא־ינום
לא ינום ולא יישן
לא־ינום ולא יישן
שומר ישראל

It is interesting that these are essentially two verses from the Old Testament (Psalms 126:1-2). I found it on purpose and there is a slightly different text. It turns out that in the video the name of God is not spoken (not sung) because

Continue reading

Posted in Hebrew | Leave a comment

The First Steps of an Immigrant (New Repatriate) in Israel

Immigration to Israel – Aliyah personal experience

Memo to a new immigrant on my experience

All materials are compiled from personal experience of recent repatriation to Israel and communication with a large number of similar sufferers of the local bureaucratic system. This is the most up-to-date and complete list of materials with the best tips and tricks we have learnt through experience. We hope that this article will help you to make friends with the Israeli bureaucracy and quickly process all the documents.

Before arriving in Israel

  • join social networking groups in your city
  • learn how to search for accommodation through social networks (short-term rentals are called “sablet”) – there are groups called “Haifa sablet”, “Tel Aviv rentals” etc. Long-term rentals are searched at with browser translation
  • look for accommodation on airbnb (you can try to negotiate with the host to pay cash)
  • find the nearest place in your city to buy a ravkav transport card and get the rav-kav online application
  • First of all, it’s worth installing applications: moovit, Google maps, if by car – Waze; for registration with ministries – MyVisit and GoVisit (queue appointment); locals use Bit and Paybox for payments; application to learn to write in Hebrew – Write it! Hebrew; bank, mobile phone and health insurance application – install it as soon as you are registered in Israel
  • do not forget to activate roaming on your mobile

At Ben-Gurion Airport

Once you arrive in Israel with a repatriate visa, you may be met at the exit of the plane (if you take an organised flight), or you may have to find the office of the Ministry of Aliyah and Integration at the airport yourself. To find this office yourself, watch our vlog about how we flew to Israel ourselves without Sohnut.

Continue reading

Posted in Israel | Leave a comment

What not to do in Israel

Israel is a unique country that attracts many tourists with its historical monuments, cultural sites and beautiful beaches. People from different countries also come to live in Israel. Before traveling it is important to know the local laws and customs in order to avoid unpleasant situations and violations. In this article we will tell you what not to do in Israel and provide you with useful tips for a safe and pleasant stay in the country.

Please note that the laws may change over time, and different places in Israel may have their own special rules, so check in advance each point that interests you, and talk more with local people – they know better than anyone else the situation on the ground. From this article you will get a general idea of the traditions and behavioral norms in Israel.

Continue reading

Posted in Israel | Leave a comment

Russian Jews and the Cultural Code

I’m taking it out of the comments under the last video on Culture Code. There was an argument with Konstantin Sh. over nationality. His comment:

But we Jews who repatriated from the former Soviet Union do not have such a (Russian) identity. I do not consider myself a Russian in any way. And I do not consider myself to be a Uzbek in any way. The vast majority of Russian-speaking Jews in Israel identify themselves the same way. For decades, we had great difficulty in explaining this to the native Israelis, so that they would not call us “Russians”. Now only those who want to offend us or the completely illiterate riffraff call us that. Cultured people refer to us as “dobray russit” (Russian speakers), or “yotzei brit amoatzot” (natives of the Soviet Union).

My answer:

Continue reading

Posted in Culture | Leave a comment

About Pushkin’s nationality. Russian or African?

A question came to our editorial office:
Is it true that Pushkin is not a Russian poet, but an African poet?

Jewish Radio answers:
Pushkin is a Russian poet. In many ways the creator of the modern Russian language.

“Moscow… how much in that sound
For the Russian heart has merged!”

Belonging to a nation is determined by the person himself, it is self-identity in the first place. Pushkin considered himself (rightly) a Russian poet. Nationality is an existential and cultural concept. It is associated with a sense of belonging to a particular group of people who share a common culture, tradition, language and history. And what kind of DNA you have is closer to the concept of race and ancestral genesis, which is not relevant in terms of the cultural code of a person. National identity can be multifaceted and complex – some people can identify with several nationalities or cultures (for example, Russian Jews).

In conclusion, a few words about Pushkin.

Continue reading

Posted in Culture | Leave a comment

Summary: A. Mitta “Cinema between Hell and Paradise”

Alexander Mitta is a graduate of VGIK, a Soviet film director, screenwriter and actor in such films as My Friend Kolka, Open the Door, Dot, Dot, Dot, Comma, Lost in Siberia and many others. His book “Between Hell and Paradise” appears on many writer’s reading lists, and I decided to read it too.
In this synopsis I give the main and relevant ideas for blogging.

Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

Top 5 Myths about Russian Winter

Now I understand why Russians drink vodka, it’s their way of keeping warm in the terrible cold. And the wife, demanding her husband to buy a fur coat, just wants to survive the harsh winter. Snowdrifts up to her waist and icicles as thick as her hand. What does a Russian winter look like in reality?
1)You probably think that in winter in Russia people go home in three socks, a hat and a sweater, because it must be very cold at home… 10 degrees, maybe. Poor people!

Continue reading

Posted in Russia | Leave a comment

Notes: Yury Lotman – Semiotics of Cinema and Problems of Film Aesthetics

Yuri Lotman was a literary scholar and cultural scientist who studied culture in all its manifestations. In the first place he put language as the primary modeling system. Cinema in his work is seen as a secondary modeling system, based on the specific language of cinema.

Cinema is similar to the real world. But this similarity creates the illusion that we understand the language of cinema without special knowledge. This is not the case.

Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

Aristotle’s Poetics – full notes

I made myself a list of books to study storytelling and screenwriting, logically starting with the first of them, Aristotle’s Poetics. I decided to make an outline of this book from the point of view of a modern scriptwriter. To analyze the main ideas and thoughts, to find their application in my daily blogging activities.

Who is Aristotle?

Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher and thinker who lived about 350 B.C., a disciple of Plato and mentor of Alexander the Great; the founder of logic; author of many aphorisms that everyone knows, such as “choose the lesser of two evils” and “knowledge begins with wonder.
Continue reading

Posted in Books | Leave a comment

Myths about Russian girls

What do foreigners think of Russian girls?
Foreigners think that a Russian girl looks like a top model and dreams of climbing into his pants to… take his wallet and spend all his money.
A tall, slender blonde with blue eyes wearing a short red dress and stiletto shoes. I am 158 cm tall and have dark hair: privet, I am from Spain, hola que tal? People often write to me in the comments under the video: if you’re from Russia, why don’t you look like a Russian? I can imagine how surprised they would be to see my friend from Yakutia.

Continue reading

Posted in Culture | Leave a comment

There are many different blogs living on the Internet.

..But the ones that are really interesting to read and where they publish really useful and interesting content are not so many.

Continue reading

Posted in Old suitcase | Leave a comment

List of best movies

I started looking for a good selection of “must-see” movies quite a while ago. In just a couple of years of searching on the Internet, I’ve seen lists of the top ten movies, including collections of the most poppy and “not for everyone” movies.

The most successful list of movies, in my opinion, is this one:

Continue reading

Posted in Movie talks | Leave a comment

What is a hieroglyph?

A hieroglyph (from the Greek word hieroglyphoi – sacred writings, i.e. hieros – sacred and glyph? – carving) – a figurative sign, fully or partially preserved figurative form. It denotes concepts, words, separate syllables and sound combinations. non-letter writing, allegorical lettering, representative image, which replaces letters or letters.

Continue reading

Posted in Languages, Russian Language | Leave a comment