Jerusalem is still in shock after, two days ago, a mother first killed her four little children and then hung herself. The apartment building where the tragedy happened, is less than ten minutes away from my home.
Reports state that the women was depressed and had received treatment. However, killing one’s own children and then oneself is the worst thing to do.
The family had made Aliyah from France about 13 years ago. The father came home from work and was received by the fire department, police and social workers. He is totally devastated and lives in a hotel together with parents who have arrived from France.
Further information here:
The large French community of the Baka and Arnona neighbourhoods is in mourning. The Israeli media, on the other hand, raised the question whether Olim (new Jewish immigrants to Israel) are always being received in an appropriate way or do newcomers still feel like outsiders even after a decade of living in Israel.
Many people, including myself, say that the French more stick to themselves. They learn Hebrew, usually find a job but as soon as you meet them at a Shabbaton or somewhere, they like to sit together and talk only French. If you sit in the middle, they won’t change the language but continue talking in French. The same, by the way, happens with South Americans when they only talk Spanish. It is not easy to make friends with those people because, as soon as there are more then one Frenchman or South American, they only talk in their language. This, at least, is the impression I got.
Okay, Anglos also stick together due to language and mentality reasons. However, I find them more opening up to everyone and sociable. Look at me! I am not an Anglo but have a lot of Anglo friends but I don’t know anyone from France or South America. By the way, in many places all over the country, the French even have their own synagogues. The nearby Baka neighbourhood has a large French community with its own synagogue.
I don’t think that the tragedy from two days ago happened because of Aliyah reasons. I heard that the family was integrated and their children were born in Israel. Furthermore, the parents of the woman live in Israel as well.
But is it really so hard for someone making Aliyah to get adjusted to Israeli society?
It is definitely hard at the beginning. Especially when people don’t know Hebrew. The Israeli mentality is not easy to understand and many newcomers get frustrated. They struggle with Israeli bureaucracy and clerks whose English is limited.
A Jew making Aliyah doesn’t only come to the Holy Land but he also has to deal with the people living here. With a totally different mentality which seems to be very rude. However, once you find a place to live and a job, you should get used to your new life. It doesn’t mean to behave like an Israeli but you get used to people’s behaviour and stop taking everything so super seriously.