I Think I’m Going to Name My First-Born Daughter Arnona Just to Ruin Her Teenage Years

Ok, since I got so many answers last time, I’m going to turn this into my own little aliyah forum. (Also because I’m fascinated by my new book “The Wisdom of Crowds” and a group’s ability to come up with the right answer.) If high school math class brings back bad memories, you can close this window now.

I just went to the iriya (city council building) to get my arnona (municipality tax) discount which I understand to be 90% (nine-tenths of the whole…sorry.) Since the bi-monthly bill comes for the apartment, not per individual, I wondered how I would get the money back, for example, by the discounted money being deposited in your bank account. (By the way, is no one else bothered that “bi-monthly” apparently means both twice a month and every other month? Really? No one else has a problem with this? Next time my doctor recommends receiving bi-monthly treatment or risk irreparable brain damage, you can be damn sure I’m asking for clarification.) In my broken Hebrew, I tried to get an explanation out of the clerk but I don’t believe she knew (even though she answered with complete confidence.) She told me that if the bill comes for 300 shekels, I am responsible for paying only 30 shekels, 10% of the entire bill, leaving each of my other 2 roommates to pay 270, or 135 each. Where did this woman learn math? If 10% of my third is 30 shekels, my third before the discount was 300 shekels, more than twice the current fully-priced thirds of my 2 roommates, 135 each.

Quick, remember algebra?

x=How much each of my roommates is supposed to pay
y=How much I’m supposed to pay

x=10y (they pay 10 times what I do)
2x+y=300 (in this example)

Two equations, two unknowns, a quick solve for x means I pay about 14.3 shekels and they each pay 143 shekels. 143+143+14ish=300. The oleh chadash is really supposed to do this kind of math each month? No way anybody is doing this which leads me to believe that people have no clue in reality how much they’re supposed to pay (unless there are only 2 total roommates in which case a quick 10% calculation works fine.)

Olim with more than one roommate…am I missing something? Or is everybody else?

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