Monday, April 19, 2010


I'll admit it, there are a lot of things I dont love about living in Israel... but the holidays arent one of them. Israelis manage to experience and express their feelings about life in ways that I only dream of. In the states memorial day is celebrated by sales, July 4th with picnics. They have no connection to each other, and although you often see red, white and blue table cloths, not many families hang actual flags outside their house. the only time i remember real patriotism was in the months after 9-11, and even that faded fast.

Israel is a completely different story. Today is memorial day, and every tv station is either turned "off" or playing memorial documentaries on those who have lost their lives to terror or in the line of duty. The stories are heart wrenching, and I cried more than once. Here memorial day (or veterans day) is not just an image of a lone WWII soldier crying at a ceremony... its a living memorial to those who we loose every year.

In complete contrast, Independence Day starts tonight. The Israeli flags have been flying for at least a week, from every car, house and public building. Even the freeway, on which I make my daily commute, is lined with flags. Free flags came with the weekend newspaper, and a coworker offered me her extra flags when she noticed I didnt have any on my car. Our city is hosting a major party, with a well known singer and comedians, and tomorrow we will have close to 80 people celebrating with us in the park- BBQing the israeli way. It is my first Independence Day as an Israeli citizen, and I feel honored to be a part of it. I am proud of my dual citizenship, even with the dfficulties i sometimes face.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

small world.

I decided to take the baby out to the shuk (market) today, to let her look at all the colors and the actions going on. She loves "talking" back to the vendors yelling their prices and to look at all the items. On the way back I stopped at aroma (a coffee shop) to get something to drink... and outside the mall here in KG was a LARGE group of kids.... speaking english!

this is a major event here. i stopped and asked one of the adults where they were from... and of course they were from california! it was a group of 60 some odd middle schoolers, from a jewish day school. i knew the school, and the teacher i talked to knew the school i used to teach at. it was nice to talk to people who come from near me... its something small i know, but its so nice to talk to people who understand how you grew up. even if their upbringing was different, the simple proximity creates a bond. and it just goes to show how small of a world we really live in.

in other news, the city is gearing up to independence day next week. the flags are flying and the bbqs are getting ready. i am really excited to celebrate it for the first time as an israeli myself.

Monday, April 12, 2010

holocaust remembrance day

israelis can be hard to deal with. they are in your face, always in your business and never hesitate to tell you if you are doing something 'wrong'. there are moments living here that i just want to give up, to go back and hide in my safe house in america, and not worry or have to deal with israelis or israel.

but then there are moments. like today, yom hashoah. the siren goes off at 10am, and everyone stops. we were in the israelis version of babies-r-us, buying a new car seat, when the cashier says "its almost 10". I walked to the front door of the store as the siren went off... and everyone just stopped. cars stopped in the middle of the road, their drivers got out to pay their respects. we listened to the siren, each lost in our own thoughts. 65 years have passed, but to israelis, to israel, this is a real pain. as the siren faded away a lone car drove by, and those who had pulled over to pay their respects shouted at it. you dont interrupt remembrance.

all day the tv channels where either off the air or played world war II related movies and shows. this is a real part of israeli life, and i love it. in the states memorial day is filled with bbqs and shopping, here it is a real part of everyones day, everyone takes that time our to really remember what it costs to have a country, and the lives that are so easily given up. i love living in a country where the holidays are really meaningful, where people can appreciate the meaning behind the hallmark card.... even if it means dealing with the bad parts too.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Its still hard to believe how fast this year has gone. Last passover I was seriously pregnant, cooking for my family and friends in my parents guest house and teaching in the states... here we are a year later, with an amazing baby girl, living in israel and not lifting a finger for the holiday. it has its pluses and minuses... but once again its nice to be able to celebrate in a country that celebrates with me.

We spent the seder with yehis grandparents on the moshav. it was nice to get away from the "city".. though it was my first time experiencing seder with his grandparents. his grandmother doesnt trust pre-made food on passover, so she makes everything from scratch.... including the wine and olive oil, made from olives from their own back yard.

in the week of pesach we tried to enjoy the holiday... yehi tried kosher for passover mcdonalds hamburgers, which is quite an amazing feat. we enjoy multiple bbqs in our own backyard. i love the feeling of the whole country being on holiday and really celebrating with us. we also made a trip to jerusalem, to the kotel... huge crowds, lots of heat... but worth it. we also stopped in the new mamilla mall, which was just like being back in the states- tommy, polo, gap, nine west..... quite a show, all for 4 times the price! actually i was surprised that the gap prices werent higher... but i still think ill wait for my trips to the states to buy.

tonight is mimouna, the sephardic holiday for the end of passover. it means a massive party on the moshav, with a live band and tons of food. its a little harder with the baby and passover ending so late... but its time to enjoy bread again!