|When Akiva's wife came to Shiloh she stayed with me, and we went to Shiloh Hakeduma, Tel Shiloh, for Women's Rosh Chodesh Prayers|
To be honest I must admit that I've met Akiva, when he and his wife Tzivia were on their pilot trip just before making aliyah, moving to Israel. Tzivia and I know each other from blogging, being among the international community of Jewish bloggers who produce and participate in Havel Havelim, the weekly blog carnival.
Sorry, this isn't supposed to be a "Jewish geography" post; this is a review of the book! So, back to business. I loved reading Akiva's book. I totally enjoyed the dry humor and how he just tells it as he sees it, without kitsch or false sentimentality.
Being an Orthodox Jew in Israel is certainly not what he was raised to be, which he mentions. His straightforward honesty seems perfectly suited for Israeli life. This diary-like book made up of short entries from letters and facebook updates during the first six months of their time in Israel gets us through his basic ulpan and their move from the beach-side immigrant absorption center to a small rental flat in another neighborhood.
Going from freezing cold Canada to all-year ocean swimming makes Akiva a very happy Israeli. And the price of fruit in Israel compared to Canada is another plus for their new home. And from what Akiva writes, the children have inherited their father's pragmatic approach to change and are doing well, too.
The only tension in the book involves the difficulties Akiva has trying to learn Hebrew. That's what causes him nightmares. I found myself cheering him on as he prepared himself for the final exam.
Tzivia keeps us updated on her blog, Adventures in Aliyahland and her other blogs. She keeps up even more blogs than I have. Welcome Home: My First Six Months Living in Israel isn't the first MacLeod aliyah book. Tzivia wrote one from the "eyes of a child" a few months ago, Ezra's Aliyah which I also reviewed. All I can say is that I can't wait to read more aliyah adventures from this very talented family!!