A Comprehensive Guide for Ladies: How to Avoid Schmucks in Israel

men


Guest Post by Michelle Esther Appelbaum, MA Educational Psychology; MBA

It is easy to describe a typical Israeli “Ars”; their appearance and behavior screams so loud, the sound can practically choke you. For more information, please see my guide: “Ladies… Beware of the Ars!” One of the first steps in problem solving is awareness, and it is far from a difficult task to raise “Ars Awareness”. One the other hand, how do you avoid the less obvious, less in-your-face, less apparent jerks who are equally harmful, if not more so?

The Ars Guide that started it all

Truth be told, there is nothing more valuable than the lessons we derive from first-hand experiences and time spent learning from our own mistakes (failures are actually successes, so long as we learn from them). That being said, there are many tricks that can help crystallize and define what to look out for during your stay in Israel, especially for women like myself who are in the Holy Land for an MRS degree, among other reasons.

First and foremost, I should mention that just as in any other place, there are plenty of bad mixed in with the good, but it is important to say “Col HaCavod” to the Israeli gever-gevers who are NOT being described in this article! There are plenty of intelligent, innovative, hilarious, successful (& sexy) Israeli men who deserve credit… and we can talk about that another time. For now, let’s focus on the bad guys that no woman with confidence or self-respect wants to have in her life. Unfortunately, it is simply harder to recognize that type when blinded by the “Israeli-ness” of men here.

Sure, they are good looking, charming, assertive and friendly…but what are their intentions? Ladies, we have certain advantages and disadvantages to Israeli women, and without a doubt, the worst disadvantage is our reputation. Israeli men, upon realizing that we are not Israeli, immediately think one thing: easy. Prove them wrong!

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with fulfilling your fantasies in private (you deserve it!), but make sure to do so with the right type of man.

Now that housecleaning is out of the way, I would like to provide you with some typical situations to be aware of. First, you have your “fast fallers”. I’m not saying there’s no such thing as love at first sight, but realistically, easy come equals easy go. Many men here (sociological and psychological reasons exist but won’t be discussed at the moment) have a tendency to fall hard and fast. This is not the type of man you want to be with! If he can say such charming, beautiful and romantic words to you in so quick a timeframe, he can just as easily do the same to another woman. True story.

“Yihie Beseder” is invaluable, and can save lives. That being said, it does not apply to every situation, every time, with every person in every place (Sorry Benji!) If it feels too right and seems too good to be true, it probably is. I am optimistic, don’t get me wrong. I like to see the good in people and believe in “innocent until proven guilty”, but we have to keep our eyes open. Israeli men have a strong ability to sweep women off their feet, but as my dear friend Tupac once said, “Keep your head up, legs closed, and eyes open”.

Then, there is the “spontaneous” man. Just because you are not interested in going to a “tzimmer” with him this weekend in the North (highly recommended, given more normal conditions and circumstances) does not make you any less spontaneous of a girl. You can be free-spirited, wild, open and spontaneous and smart, all at once; you don’t need to prove anything to Dudi or Eli or Itzik.

Next, Israel’s finest: the “ring-less” man. It is a ridiculous notion, but do they actually think that by you not asking, and them not telling, they have done no wrong by being married and flirting with you? Of course, when you find out, they insist that nothing was going to happen and they were just being friendly (but we know better, don’t we, ladies?) Oh, and men, using Judaism as an excuse is just pathetic: you’re not nearly religious enough to pull that one off!

One of my personal favorites is the “Never enough” guy. He can contact you via facebook, email, text, calling, What’s App, twitter, LinkedIn, and more and more. It makes sense to him that if you aren’t available on one, he should try the next. Fair enough, right? But to what extent? Guys: if you tried one or two, give it a rest. Trying ten different forms of communication just to contact her and see if she wants falafel at your uncle’s neighbor’s ex-girlfriend’s dog-walker’s best friend’s sister’s new stand is a little much, no? Ladies, if this happens even ONCE, take is as a red flag. This obnoxious behavior turns into a pattern; if it bothers you now, it will only bother you ten times more in the future. Back away while you still can!

Last, but not least, the “business meeting”. Let’s be honest: being a woman is fun, powerful and satisfying, but can be equally challenging and frustrating. All too often, in sophisticated, professional settings, men will invite you to a business meeting. This is great, potentially: “What wonderful opportunities are in front of me!” you might think, until Dedy suggests you order vodka-redbull instead of café hafuch. It is one thing to show up to a business meeting in your trendy new blazer from Castro just to find everyone else in flip flops and t-shirts, but it is completely different to be in a private or intimate setting, especially when alcohol is involved.

Generally, there are a few important questions I recommend asking:

1. “Where did you serve in the army?”
2. “Where were you raised?”
3. “Where do you see yourself raising a family?”

Take the answers to these questions very seriously; they reveal a lot about a person. Ask yourself if this is what you really want. The most crucial tool I can provide you with is to practice this simple exercise: Look at the Israeli man sitting across from you at the table. Imagine you are with him in your home country. For example, if you are American, take Amit and call him Andrew. Get rid of his Israeli accent. Try to think of what Andrew would be doing if he were in America (I know this can’t possibly fit perfectly, because life in Israel and life in the States are incomparable, but play around with it). Ask yourself if you would be with this person back in your hometown. If you can honestly say that you would, proceed. Enjoy the moment with your Israeli man, and never let your suspicions or doubts hold you back from having fun with him, but stay smart about how you chose to do so. May the Schwartz be with you!

* Check out my website: http://www.michelleappelbaum.com
* Connect with me on LinkedIn: http://il.linkedin.com/in/michelleestherappelbaum
* Follow me on Twitter: @Meappelbaum
* Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drmishmish

Michelle Appelbaum was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Los Angeles, California. From California State University, Northridge, she has a BA in Child & Adolescent Development, an MA in Educational Psychology: Development, Learning and Instruction, and an MBA from Tel Aviv University. Michelle’s interests include Business Development, Market Research, Organizational Consulting, Psychology, and Israel.

Esther

MBA, MA. Have more fun. Worry less. Laugh more. Be good to yourselves & others. Grow, learn, and develop.

The greatest risk in life is not taking one.


19 Comments

  1. P. Almonius

    5/16/2012 at 7:39 am

    Let’s say you meet a former combat soldier one night and a former jobnik on another – what does that tell you about them? Also, they don’t let arsim into elite units?

    And what’s the right answer to “where were you raised?”

    • themiddle

      5/17/2012 at 4:53 am

      Well, depends on the elite unit since there are elite units and there are elite units. But to be fair, most serious elite units don’t have arsim.

      Then again, I’ve met many folks who have never made it into elite units or were “jobniks” and today they are very fine husbands and providers. Not everyone is built for the army, and the army is not perfect in their selection process which determines where people are sent.

      The advice about placing the guy out of context and back in your home country is excellent, however.

  2. Lisaleh

    5/16/2012 at 7:44 am

    Hilarious! And wonderfully helpful as I am thinking about a trip to Israel this fall. It’s humors me to no end that men can be so differently schmucky, and yet so consistently schmucky from one country to another. The men in England were schmucky in an entirely different capacity.

    My only experience with Israeli men was when I was 18 on my trip to Israel and involved a lot of awkward cat calls (not at me, oh no, but plenty of the other girls — especially the blonde ones). But the allure of meeting a nice jewish boy in a land of, well, _many_ jewish boys must just be so strong and potentially blinding?

    Great post :)

  3. Ze'ev

    5/17/2012 at 7:37 am

    Don’t even THINK about luring Israelis out of this country. If you’re too assimilated/scared/successful/family-tied to make Aliyah, fine, but exporting Israelis is WRONG!!!

    :)

  4. Michelle Esther Appelbaum

    5/17/2012 at 8:54 am

    Thanks for your responses!

    • themiddle

      5/17/2012 at 12:10 pm

      Oh yeah, another tell is that there are some, although few, Israeli men who volunteer for some form of national service before they enter the army. This is obviously commitment to social good at the expense of another year of their lives since they still have to serve the normal IDF 3 years.

      And, if you’re practical and want a good provider while being forgiving of other traits ( :0 ), graduates of the various quality university technology programs – maths, computer sciences, engineering – are among the crop of Israelis who are able to make the kind of income in Israel that keeps you at the upper tier of the middle class with the potential for significantly more if they are entrepreneurial or very talented. By quality programs I’m referring to Technion, Weizman, Hebrew U, TAU.

  5. Grrrls

    5/18/2012 at 3:06 am

    I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to be mean because this is your first post on Jewlicious, but I agree with P.Almonious. The three recommended questions will give you exactly zero indication on whether or not your prospective suitor is a douche or not. Turning Amit into Andrew is equally unrevealing because the difference between a blue collar Israeli and a blue collar American is that the Israeli is Jewish and in all likelihood better educated. And that makes a world of difference. Some of the worst men I have met in Israel were otherwise polished and educated with impressive sounding Army records. Some of the best men I have ever met anywhere were high school educated Israelis with blue collar jobs.

  6. Michelle Esther Appelbaum

    5/18/2012 at 4:14 am

    Fair enough. Advice is not for everyone. These situations are very dynamic and have high variance. I see the value in generalizing, and appreciate feedback as well. Best of luck to all!

    • Grrrls

      5/18/2012 at 4:22 am

      Aw hells no Michelle! I still totally enjoyed your post!! I totally know the kind of men you are describing and I don’t want to be left hanging, waiting for you to describe the experiences you merely alluded to in this very, very good first post! In other words, I want more – and that’s the highest compliment I can pay anyone.

  7. Michelle Esther Appelbaum

    5/18/2012 at 4:28 am

    That is very kind of you. I enjoy writing and sharing, and hope to have the opportunity to continue.

  8. Schvach

    5/28/2012 at 3:26 pm

    Israelis are assholes – period!

    • themiddle

      5/28/2012 at 10:06 pm

      Nah, there are quite a few who are anything but.

  9. Pingback: News of Week (Jewish Style) — 5/30 — Jewish women are hot — Gather the Jews

  10. Michelle Esther Appelbaum

    5/31/2012 at 5:15 am

    woah – Israelis are NOT ass holes! These types of schmucks can be found all over the world. If you know how to avoid losers ANYWHERE in the world, you will find great people. In Israel, I have met endless remarkable individuals..I just didn’t write an article about them because it would bore you :)

  11. Paul Schnee

    6/26/2012 at 1:09 pm

    Well ladies, if your panties are on fire none of this advice matters too much. However, if it’s love you’re looking for then pace yourself. This applies regardless of nationality, race or religion.

  12. Michelle Esther

    6/26/2012 at 1:23 pm

    If your panties are on fire, I recommend hitting up Paul Schnee ;)

  13. Celiza

    4/21/2013 at 3:16 am

    I just stumbled upon this and laughed out LOUD! As someone who knows and adores an intelligent, gorgeous Israeli Itzik, let’s just say, your candor could not have come at a more perfect time. I was nodding at every word.

    Kudos and thanks.

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