Shalom! Welcome to my new blog. Before we get started I want to introduce myself. My name is Arky Staiman… Arky? What kind of name is that? It’s my nickname, my real name is Aaron but you can call me, (well more like read me), Arky. A little bit about myself; I was born and raised in Baltimore, Md. in the United States and there I attended Beth Tfiloh High School until I graduated. I spent the next year of my life in Yeshivat Lev Hatorah in Ramat Beit Shemesh and then decided to make Aliya (move to Israel) and join the Hesder program in Yeshivat Otniel, a program based on the Torah ideal (yikes, politics right off the bat… ) of combining learning Torah and serving in the army. After my service as a Paratrooper in 890th Brigade, I returned to Yeshiva and married my best friend, Avigail Kranzler. We live in Haifa where Avigail is studying in the Technion, Israel’s premier college for Engineering and I am a tour guide in the Bahai Gardens. I am currently pursuing my dream of becoming a tour guide throughout Israel and spreading the love and connection between the Jewish people and the Jewish homeland. I am enrolled in the intensive Tour Guiding Course through Haifa University and I am hoping to share with you, and everyone who reads my blog or takes my tour, the knowledge that I retain there (retain being the only proper use for the small fraction of the information that is actually stored in my brain).
My love for Israel began with my Bar Mitzvah which I decided to have in Israel. Despite the bad food, (for this 13 year-old American, chummus, matbucha, and some eggplant wasn’t considered yummy) and not knowing most of the people there, it was a life-changing event which spurred a deep interest and bond with Israel. Everyone has their own picture of what Israel is before their first trip, but for me Israel looked like the Sahara Desert with houses made of stones from the Kotel. Unfortunately for some, this Alladin-like vision of Israel can continue way past childhood. So therefore I started this blog so I can be your magic carpet ride throughout Israel.
This blog is intended for all ages from teens to retirees, for all levels of knowledge about Israel, from the “I’d like to go to Israel at some point” people to the “I’ve gone everywhere already” people (I’ve been both). Its purpose is to give insights and awaken the Curious George in each one of us for the many different facets to the beautiful Land of Israel. I will discuss some of the many different faces of Israel whether it be religious, historical, demographical, geological, political, and even just the plain “cool.” The “wow”’s of this country are endless and for me to take a part in the dropping of your jaws is a great honor and I hope that you stick with me throughout our process together in discovering the land which “I will show you” (Bereshit 12:1).
ps. the informality of the blog is on purpose and will continue throughout all of my blogs