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What’s the first thing you’ll buy in Israel? (Real olim tell all!)


Get out your pocketbook… it’s aliyah time!  What’s the first thing you’ll buy once you’re finally here? 

Not sure?  Let other olim tell you!

A lot of sites tell you the Big Ideas, but only in AliyahLand will you find the Nitty Gritty:  the stuff you’ll need when you’re fresh off the plane.

We’re busy busy over here getting ready for Pesach.  So I figured I’d let the Nefesh b’Nefesh Facebook group write today’s post for me.  Here’s what I asked them:

Not Pesach-related, for a blog post: what was the first thing you bought after you arrived in Israel? (besides food/drinks)

A spectacular number of people jumped in to answer.  I’ve sorted their answers into categories to help you get a better idea of what you’ll have to do with that little envelope of Sal Klitah money that they hand you at the airport.

(I couldn’t believe that was true, despite repeated reassurances, until I actually held it in my hands.)

What are you likely to need to buy right away?  (If somebody answered in several categories, I listed their reply under the FIRST item they mentioned.)

The #1 answer… Appliances

  • A refrigerator
  • Hair dryer, then washing machine, dryer, fridge, tv, when I moved into my apartment a few weeks later.
  • A blender, sheets. lamps and other misc.
  • first big thing was a refrigerator and a stove...not sure which first - perhaps even's been a while. Other than those big items, I probably bought a Hebrew newspaper. I'd shipped all the sheets/towels/dishes, etc.and timed it so that lift came in about a week after we did so beside food, the big things we needed were the remaining kitchen items. I'd do things differently now...
  • dishwasher and dryer
  • Mini fridge
  • A shoko bisakit [chocolate milk in a baggie] and a toaster oven
  • I had to buy a stovetop, oven,fridge , TV and bed .the oven TV and washing machine I bought new but the bed was used and in amazing shape!

#2… Cleaning supplies

  • A bucket, floor cleaner, mop, broom, and sponges, so before I unpack I could feel like everything was spic and span.
  • A sponja, blankets pillows
  • A sponge mop which I happened upon at the shuk. (not the sponja, which I can't use.) the kind with the sponge and it has the mechanism to squeeze the water out.
  • A useless mop that stated"the only mop you will ever need"...and a bucket with a very large plastic tub...

#3… Comfort necessities

  • A fan
  • radiator
  • Heater, Rav Kav [transportation card – but these are free, so in my opinion, it doesn’t really count]
  • Toilet paper!
  • As we came in July to the mercaz klita in Ra'anana and arrived at 4 a.m one morning, my husband went out at 4 p.m the same day and bought a floor standing fan.
  • Took a lot of scrolling til I found someone else who also said toilet paper.

#4… Phones & electronics

(NOTE:  We received a free SIM card at the airport with our new telephone number, but we had to use our own Israel cell phones, which a friend gave to us)

  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone service.
  • A mobile phone
  • Transformers and adapters

#5… Sleeping supplies

  • beds, aronot [closets], fridge, washing machine, dryer...
  • Piercings and then a blanket. Because priorities :)

Other / Folks who don’t remember

  • An umbrella stroller.
  • That was 40 years ago!
  • Rav Kav
  • Think clothes and a siddur I bought as I lost alot of weight...
  • pots.
  • A gym membership
  • An "an agalah". You know, the very unfashionable shopping cart.
  • Shoko b'sakit, a Goldstar [beer], and a pack of Israeli Camels.
  • israeli sandals
  • Rav Kav card....
  • BBQ

So what were my family’s first purchases?  It turns out we’re pretty typical.  I don’t remember the order, but the first two things we bought were an עגלה / “agalah,” a two-wheeled shopping cart, and a fan.  This was quickly followed by another fan… it being August on the muggy Israeli coast.

If you’re already here, I’d love to hear in the Comments what your first purchase was!

p.s. After hearing the word “pocketbook,” for years I finally learned what it means last week talking to a friend from the States.  It’s basically the same as what I’ve always called a purse… or, if it has two straps, a “very little backpack.” 

Whatever you call it, take it from these veteran olim:  once you land in Israel, you’re absolutely going to need one.

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה

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