Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The First Israeli JBlogger Interview! Life-In-Israel

My next JBlogger interview is the first Israeli Blogger I have interviewed. Please give a warm welcome to Rafi G of Life-In-Israel ( ::clapping::). Now settle down everyone while I begin this interview and I ask that you be on your best behavior. If you have missed my other recent interviews with BagelBlogger, Life-of-Rubin and SerandEZ: click here.

JBM: I just had our second child, a boy..what's it like raising 6 children?

Life-in Israel: mazal tov on your new child. Raising 6 children is like being a zoo keeper. :-) (or is that because of our pet goose?)

JBM: Who was the first blogger to comment on your blog?

Life-in Israel:Honestly, I do not remember. Probably one of my brothers. Actually I just went through the archives of my blog to check that out and I see I was the first. I was testing to see if something worked. I must have been wondering why nobody had commented until then... The first non-me commented was my brother Dan.

JBM: Can you expand on your kabballah on shechita and when was the last time you shechted?

Life-in Israel: I have kaballah on shechita. I like to do things that most people do not do. Add to that that I feel it is important to learn areas that are not commonly learned nowadays, along with learning practices that are no longer commonly practiced, and I fell into learning shechita. It used to be common for people to take their chicken to the local shochet and then kasher it at home. Nowadays, we all grow up never seeing the insides of a chicken, let alone actually kashering one. This is becoming a lost practice, relegated to the mass producing, mass shechting factories. What would you do for food if you were stuck on some island like in the TV show "LOST"? Now I can shecht my own food. , so I decided to learn shechita.I have not shechted in about 9 months. The last time I shechted I posted it - The guy I learn with went through a period in which his daughter was very sick with a form of cancer and he had to travel a lot for treatments. Thank God she is ok now. He was not available to shecht with and I got lazy and did not make my own arrangements. Now we are getting back into it and sometime in the near future I will be shechting a cow.

JBM:Favorite Sefer and why?

Life-in Israel: For a long time my favorite sefer was Rav Hirsch commentary on chumash. I love his style and his clarity. Now I have not read it for some months. I am trying to find my own way a bit. I go through the parsha and try to come up with my own drashas and pshatim, which I post in my less popular blog at

JBM: Besides me, your favorite Jblog is......
Life-in Israel: There are a number of bloggers I enjoy reading. Of course your blog is at the top of the list. I would not want to choose one as my favorite. It is like children - none are favorite - they each are special in their own way. I do not want to make a list because I will invariably leave some off by mistake and that would make the list pointless. I will just say that I like very differing blogs, because each has its qualities. One is a great writer, another is very provocative, another is funny, etc..

JBM: The first Jblogger on your blogroll was?

Life-in Israel:I do not remember. Probably Ezzie, but maybe someone else.

JBM: What do you love most about life in Israel?
The feeling that I am part of Jewish history in the making, not just watching from the sidelines in chutz la'aretz. Also the fact that I have access to places that others noly read about - it makes everything more real. I walk the same land Abraham did, I have visited Joseph's tomb a number of times, Har Habayit, Hebron, Rachel's tomb, the historical sites and graves all over the country that connect us with our roots.

JBM: How old were you when you made aliyah and what motivated you?

Life-in Israel: I came to Israel for yeshiva after high-school. That was not planned and was done as a last minute decision. Turns out it changed me forever... I was 18 and liked Israel. I decided to stay for a second year. Then a third year and the rest was history. I decided in my third year I was not going back to the US of A. I only actually made aliya when I was 26 and was buying my apartment in Ramat Bet Shemesh.

JBM:Have you ever been arrested and if so what were the circumstances?

Life-in Israel: Never been arrested.

JBM: The scariest experience you ever had in Israel?

Life-in Israel: I am not sure. That is a hard one. I do not dwell much on past experiences, so to think about them and find one that was scary is difficult. it might have been the time(s) I was 200 meters away from suicide bombs in downtown Jerusalem. It might have been on a bus in the pitch black night outside of Shchem on my way to visit Joseph's tomb waiting for the soldiers to find out if any terrorists were in the area. It might have been nearly getting run over by a cop on horseback breaking up a protest (I do not remember what the protest was about). Or soething else, not really sure.

JBM: The place you recommend one visit on their trip to Israel

Life-in Israel: Har Habayit.

JBM: Favorite Restaurant in Israel...

Life-in Israel: I hardly have a chance to go out to eat. I am not that familiar with the current lineup of restaurants. I recently went for our anniversary to a great place called Sheyans in Jerusalem. Now on the rare occasion we have a chance to go out to eat, we try something different each time. When we lived in Jerusalem and it was easier to go out for dinner, I liked any place that served the biggest, juiciest steaks. And those places still hold a warm place in my heart...

JBM:Why is it that there are not more flavored sodas in Israel ? How is it that Israelis seemed satisfied with the plain Coke, Sprite and Diet Coke, yet fill themselves up with overpriced-too-sweet-juices? Can we not make a larger effort to bring in some Cherry Coke, Root Beer and Fresca?

Life-in Israel: That's a funny question. I seem to remember that they tried Cherry Coke a few years ago and Israelis did not take to it, so they stopped bringing it in. Dr. Pepper and Root Beer are brought in in small scale. I once gave an Israeli a swig of Root Beer to taste when he saw me drinking it. He wanted to know what it was and I could not figure out how to explain it to him, so I gave him a swig of it. He thought it was revolting. My guess is that Israelis only like standard soda pops. I don't know why not.

JBM: Lastly what wisdom would you like to impart upon on all JBloggers?

Life-In-Israel:I have no wisdom for you guys. Keep blogging. I have learned a lot from reading your blogs and have met (some really and some virtually) a lot of great people.


Jack's Shack said...

Very nice.

Jewish Blogmeister said...


Anonymous said...

Great interview!
Rafi deserves it!

[By the way, I'm available too :-)].