By Maya - September 17, 2018
And that’s it.
This is likely among my favorite Hebrew phrases that I have learned in the Ulpan. Veh zehro is not only useful for shopping at the shuk or ordering at local restaurants, but for describing quirks and aspects of daily life in Israel. Despite assumptions that everything about Israel is security-related, many things in Israel are quite relaxed and simple. For example, the majority of my time here is spent studying for Hebrew, relaxing in the dorms, and hanging out with friends. Veh zehro. The pace is slow, and a welcome change from the breakneck pace of college in D.C.. Some of the most common phrases I hear are “Don’t worry about it”, and “we’ll figure it out”. It is comforting and slightly jarring to be in such a relaxed society with such complicated relations and politics.
Veh zehro is perhaps the most useful phrase to summarize my experience packing for Israel as well. After several months of scholarship applications, documentation slip-ups, and various appointments, my family finally piles into our car, and drives to the airport. The ride is not quiet—my siblings have plenty of questions, and my parents want to make sure my first solo trip across the Atlantic goes well.
“You’ll pick this up in Tel Aviv.” The United Airlines representative mutters, taping the sticker onto my checked luggage. My luggage whirs away. My family and I walk to my gate, hug, (cry), and say goodbye for now. Everything feels like a slow-moving dream, until I actually see the distinct coast of Israel.
And that’s it. I’ve actually made it to Israel.
The first days are filled with exploring Beer-Sheva and drinking coffee. The OSP office becomes a second home in Israel, and a place to practice my Hebrew as well. When the rest of the group arrives, we take a trip to Sde Boker, the Dead Sea and David Ben-Gurion’s hut.
David Ben-Gurion is an important guy in Israel, to say the least. Although I am somewhat familiar with his significance, I am fascinated by his relatively normal habits and home on the kibbutz. While we tour his hut, I ask our guide about a tiny koala hanging from his lamp. The tour guide answers: “I think his grandson left it here, so he kept it.” In other words, there is nothing politically or culturally significant about the koala—it’s just a play toy, and a little reminder that such a serious place has such a great sense of humor.
Using this phrase so often does not always mean things are simple and easy to understand here, but that every problem and every situation eventually gets resolved. Perhaps this simple phrase will have further implications during my time here.
Veh zehro for now. I am truly looking forward to more adventures here.