Tag Archives: Israel

My Son Blogs!

My eldest son Aryeh, up until now known as Lenny on this blog, has started writing a blog of his own, documenting his aliyah process.

Please pop over there – here is his first post “THIS IS MY STORY” and leave him some comment-love.


Aliyah – In My Heart

My very good friend Jamie Geller and her family made aliyah almost a week ago. There has been lots of press surrounding the flight they were on – almost 130 of those on the special Nefesh b’Nefesh chartered flight were young people heading straight to the army. The rest of the 300 or so were families making aliyah with young kids, grandparents joining married children and their kids in Israel, and others who have given in to that strong magnetic pull towards Eretz Yisrael.

I scrolled through the photos, tears streaming down my face. Envy flashed across my psyche, briefly. I wanted to be that person descending those steps at Ben Gurion airport. I wanted to have my family waiting there for me with huge Bruchim Habaim signs. I wanted to go HOME.

It’s a dream that I have had for so long. I wish I would have made Aliyah at 18 when I was unencumbered, but I was too fixated on finding a husband and having children. After my divorce I briefly considered packing the boys up and jumping on a plane and never looking back. I couldn’t have done that to them – to distance them so far from their father. And, had I done that, I would never have met the KoD.

But I want to be there so badly. As I age I feel the pull get stronger and stronger. Next year my oldest will head off to Israel (maybe army, maybe yeshiva), the year after his brother plans to make Aliyah and go straight to the army and never come back to the US. My heart sings for them, and aches for me.

One day, Israel, one day soon we will all come home.

El Al Ticket Insanity

By now you have all heard, I am sure, about the craziness on Monday of return flights to Israel on El Al being sold for $350 or thereabouts. Insanity!! A crazy reduction, the likes of which had never been seen before. I was feeling very regretful that I didn’t get in on it.

It was a third party mistake – fuel surcharges had not been factored in. A mistake that was not discovered for several hours.

Initially El Al said they would honour the tickets – however, yesterday they backtracked and tweeted that no firm decision has yet been made.

I have seen many holier-than-thou posts saying how dare these people take advantage of a Jewish company, causing them to lose millions of dollars, that it was immoral for anyone to have taken advantage of these prices.

Several of my friends bought tickets. All of them thought it was seat sale of some sort. Not one of them set out to buy tickets to cheat El Al out of money. All the moralizing is making my head hurt. Should we buy nothing on sale because it means the company will lose money? How was anyone supposed to know that these prices were a mistake?

I am sure there are legal issues that El Al needs to work out, I am also sure that El Al cannot afford to lose millions of dollars – a loss that would result if they honoured the thousands of tickets that were purchased during the glitch.

What do you think they should do – to ensure continued customer loyalty AND to safeguard their own bottom line?

Lone Tree Beer – L’chaim!

David, Me and Lone Tree Beer

As you all know, I had the merit to be in Israel in July of this year, and after discussions with David Shire, part owner of the Lone Tree Brewery we arranged for me to make the trek out to his brewery, located in the heart of Gush Etzion.

It’s a small operation – a microbrewery – but it’s a brewery with gumption. Its logo is bright and vivid and promises a kaleidoscope of taste. The hand-crafted beer delivers on this promise, and how!

David sat me down and proceeded to roll out three beers for me to taste. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it. Out of the eight beers that they produce, I tasted the Extra Oatmeal Stout, the English Northern Ale and the Pale Ale. The sacrifices I have to make for my craft!

Hadassah drinks her first Lone Tree Beer

Each have distinctive flavours that rival any of the mainstream beers that I drink over here in the USA. The Extra Oatmeal Stout is comparable to Guinness – personally, too heavy for me to drink regularly, but I would totally marinate my brisket in it, or use it to beer-roast a chicken. The other two beers that I tried would definitely be a constant presence in my fridge – they are so good that I would even replace my regular American beer with them.

David (originally from Scotland and surprisingly, my cousin! (read the story here)), and his business partner Susan Levin (originally from Maryland*), gave me a tour of their operation. These are people who, before they opened the brewery, perfected the art of the home brew. Home brewing of beer is not for the faint of heart – and David and Susan obviously know their craft. Now they have a proper operation, they have kosher certification (Rabbanut of Gush Etzion), and are gaining a reputation for great beer. Extra Bonus – they only use natural ingredients.

Before The Lone Tree Brewery came along the beer in Israel was nothing to write home about. Not anymore. Lone Tree Brewery can hold its head up high and know that it is brewing a superior product. As of right now their beer is only available in Israel (Machane Yehuda, Beit Shemesh, Modi’in & Gush Etzion. Home deliveries throughout Jerusalem) – but my hope is that more stores will stock their product, and eventually, that we will be able to import it into the US.

You can find Lone Tree Beer online and on Facebook and Twitter.

Susan Levin - cobrewer at Lone Tree Beer

*Funny story. KoD’s brother and sister-in-law live in MD. I sent them the link to my Israel pictures as I did to most of the family. I instantly get an email from her – “how do you know William Daroff (from my tweet up pix)? and is that Susan Levin in your beer pictures?” I called her up and we marvelled at how small the world is, that two people that they know from their corner of the world and had no clue that I knew show up in my pictures from Israel. Small, small world.

Headscarf Help

So, I bought these awesome headscarves in Israel – fancy ones that you can wrap around your head and make a real statement with.

I love them – but they do not stay in place. Regular bobby pins only hold them in place for so long and then the back slide starts.

What can I use to keep these scarves in place for the whole day without me having to readjust twice an hour?



Where people applaud when the ‘plane lands safely on terra firma in Ben Gurion Airport.

Where taxi drivers tell you you have to make aliyah, then tell you everything that’s wrong with the country.

Where cab drivers show you pictures of their grandchildren and ask if you have a shidduch for their unmarried son.

Where people take phone calls on their cellphones in the midst of a speech that they are giving.

Where chummus is served as a side dish with every meal and on the ‘plane with breakfast.

Where the bus driver worries that you are not sure where to get off and makes sure you know where you are going, and the little old lady sitting next to you offers you some “mayim karim” (cold water) as it’s so hot out there.

Where a watermelon rolls all the way down the aisle of the bus when the driver brakes suddenly, and splatters against the front door, and everyone laughs and helps the owner clean up the mess.

Where you use more languages that you ever thought possible – Hebrew, English and French.

Where store owners flatter you so much you feel it’s necessary to make a large purchase. Then they talk you out of buying something that they don’t feel looks right on you.

Where the store owner plays Jewish Geography with you and you exchange business cards because he just might be able to help your son when he makes aliyah and wants to prepare for the army.

Where the roads have improved, but the driving, not so much!

Where you cannot figure out how to order just a regular plain coffee….and where a café Hafuch is not a cappuccino.

Israel – where my soul feels at home.

What would you add to this list?

In the footsteps of our fathers

On Thursday last week I was hanging out with family in the Gush – Gush Etzion – and had the honour of visiting the Lone Tree Brewery. I will be writing a review after the nine days – so stay tuned for that. After a brief sojourn and taste test at the brewery, David, my cousin, brewmaster extraordinaire, took us on a mini tiyul.

We drove a little while, and stopped the car. We got out near a mile marker – an old old stone mile marker that has been there for centuries. David told us that this road was called “Derech Avot” – the path of our fathers. He related that this was known to be the road that our forefathers walked on on their pilgrimages up to Jerusalem, to bring sacrifices at the first and second Temples. It’s also the road that Avraham walked on his way to sacrifice his son Yitzchak.

To stand there, to stand on that very same spot that these great ancestors of ours had stood – I cannot even begin to describe the rush of emotion. My soul cried out internally THIS is MY land. I felt possessive. I felt possessed.  I felt a connection to the land that I had previously never felt. If I closed my eyes, I knew I could see the procession up to Jerusalem for the three major festivals. If I concentrated harder, I could see Avraham walking off into the distance with his son Yitzchak, ready to be tested more than we can even imagine.

This land, this country of Israel, it’s not just earth and stone. It has something way more mystical. It has roots that have withstood time and destruction. This is my land!

I wish, I wish I could have that feeling every day and still be awed by it. Yet, here I sit in New York, where time will diminish these feelings, until I once more walk in the footsteps of our forefathers.

Bravo Israel!

From the JPost:

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill forbidding extremely underweight models to be shown in advertisements, on Sunday.

In addition, using Photoshop and other graphics programs to make models look thinner will be against the law.

The only thing that bothers me is the phrase “extremely underweight” – does that mean that “underweight” is ok?

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The Full Text of Hatikva

written by Naftali Hertz Imber in 1878. When it was written it was called Tikvateinu – our hope. (with thanks to Wikipedia)

Hebrew Transliteration English translation
כָּל־עוֹד בַּלֵּבָב פְּנִימָה Kol-‘od balevav penimah As long as in the heart, within,
נֶפֶשׁ יְהוּדִי הוֹמִיָּה, Nefesh yehudi homiyah, A Jewish soul still yearns,
וּלְפַאֲתֵי מִזְרָח קָדִימָה, Ul(e)fa’atei mizrach kadimah, And onward, towards the ends of the east,
עַיִן לְצִיּוֹן צוֹפִיָּה; ‘Ayin letziyon tzofiyah; An eye still looks toward Zion;
פזמון Refrain
עוֹד לֹא אָבְדָה תִקְוָתֵנוּ, ‘Od lo avdah tikvateinu, Our hope is not yet lost,
הַתִּקְוָה הַנּוֹשָׁנָה, Hatikvah hannoshanah, The ancient hope,
לָשׁוּב לְאֶרֶץ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, Lashuv le’eretz avoteinu, To return to the land of our fathers,
לָעִיר בָּהּ דָּוִד חָנָה. La‘ir bah david k’hanah. The city where David encamped.
כָּל־עוֹד דְּמָעוֹת מֵעֵינֵינוּ Kol-‘od dema‘ot me‘eineinu As long as tears from our eyes
יִזְּלוּ כְגֶשֶׁם נְדָבוֹת, Yizzelu kegeshem nedavot, Flow like benevolent rain,
וּרְבָבוֹת מִבְּנֵי עַמֵּנוּ Urevavot mibbenei ‘ammeinu And throngs of our countrymen
עוֹד הוֹלְכִים עַל קִבְרֵי אָבוֹת; ‘Od hol(e)chim ‘al kivrei avot; Still pay homage at the graves of (our) fathers;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד חוֹמַת מַחֲמַדֵּינוּ Kol-‘od chomat mach(a)maddeinu As long as our precious Wall
לְעֵינֵינוּ מוֹפַעַת, Le‘eineinu mofa‘at, Appears before our eyes,
וְעַל חֻרְבַּן מִקְדָּשֵׁנוּ Ve‘al churban mikdasheinu And over the destruction of our Temple
עַיִן אַחַת עוֹד דוֹמַעַת; ‘Ayin achat ‘od doma‘at; An eye still wells up with tears;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל-עוֹד מֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן בְּגָאוֹן Kol-‘od mei hayarden bega’on As long as the waters of the Jordan
מְלֹא גְדוֹתָיו יִזֹּלוּ, Melo’ gedotav yizzolu, In fullness swell its banks,
וּלְיָם כִּנֶּרֶת בְּשָׁאוֹן Uleyam kinneret besha’on And (down) to the Sea of Galilee
בְּקוֹל הֲמוּלָה יִפֹּלוּ; Bekol hamulah yippolu; With tumultuous noise fall;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד שָׁם עֲלֵי דְרָכַיִם Kol-‘od sham ‘alei drachayim As long as on the barren highways
שַעַר יֻכַּת שְׁאִיָּה, Sha‘ar yukkat she’iyah, The humbled city gates mark,
וּבֵין חָרְבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַיִם Uvein charvot yerushalayim And among the ruins of Jerusalem
עוֹד בַּת צִיּוֹן בּוֹכִיָּה; ‘Od bat tziyon bochiyah; A daughter of Zion still cries;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד דְּמָעוֹת טְהוֹרוֹת Kol-‘od dema‘ot tehorot As long as pure tears
מֵעֵין בַּת עַמִּי נוֹזְלוֹת, Me‘ein bat ‘ammi nozlot, Flow from the eye of a daughter of my nation,
וְלִבְכּוֹת לְצִיּוֹן בְּרֹאשׁ אַשְׁמוֹרוֹת Velivkot letziyon berosh ’ashmorot And to mourn for Zion at the watch of night
עוֹד תָּקוּם בַּחֲצִי הַלֵּילוֹת; ‘Od takum bachatzi halleilot; She still rises in the middle of the nights;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד נִטְפֵי דָם בְּעוֹרְקֵינוּ Kol-‘od nitfei dam be‘orkeinu As long as drops of blood in our veins
רָצוֹא וָשׁוֹב יִזֹּלוּ Ratzo’ vashov yizzolu, Flow back and forth,
וַעֲלֵי קִבְרוֹת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ Va‘alei kivrot avoteinu And upon the graves of our fathers
עוֹד אֶגְלֵי טַל יִפֹּלוּ; ‘Od eglei tal yippolu; Dewdrops still fall;
פזמון Refrain
כָּל־עוֹד רֶגֶשׁ אַהֲבַת הַלְּאוֹם Kol-‘od regesh ahavat halle’om As long as the feeling of love of nation
בְּלֵב הַיְּהוּדִי פּוֹעֵם, Beleiv hayhudi po‘eim, Throbs in the heart of the Jew,
עוֹד נוּכַל קַוּוֹת גַּם הַיּוֹם ‘Od nuchal kavvot gam hayyom We can still hope even today
כִּי עוֹד יְרַחֲמֵנוּ אֵל זוֹעֵם; Ki ‘od yerachmeinu ’eil zo‘eim; That a wrathful God may still have mercy on us;
פזמון Refrain
שִׁמְעוּ אַחַי בְּאַרְצוֹת נוּדִי Shim‘u achai be’artzot nudi Hear, O my brothers in the lands of exile,
אֶת קוֹל אַחַד חוֹזֵינוּ, Et kol achad chozeinu, The voice of one of our visionaries,
כִּי רַק עִם אַחֲרוֹן הַיְּהוּדִי Ki rak ‘im acharon hayhudi (Who declares) That only with the very last Jew —
גַּם אַחֲרִית תִּקְוָתֵנוּ! Gam acharit tikvateinu! Only there is the end of our hope!
פזמון Refrain
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Happy 62nd Birthday Israel!!

62 Things My Buddy Benji Loves About Israel from jpost.com

You’ve waited all year and it’s finally here. Inspired by last year’s “61 more things I love about Israel” and 2008’s  “60 things I love about Israel,” without further ado, here are 62 more things I love about Israel.

1. I love attending a religious wedding for the laughs that come from hearing “The Final Countdown” played klezmer-style.  I don’t know if the band Europe are dead yet but I suspect they’re digging their graves so they can someday roll in them.
2. I love how everyone who watched “Avatar” discovered that the Navi have a famous singer named Ninat. Who’s their favorite author, JB Yehoshua?
3. I love how the Jeopardy crew came here to research the country for their show.  “What are freichot?”
4. I love how this country is a kibbutz galuyot which means that you can watch American football with Argentinians and have them say things like “I ken not watch theez game!  Thees eeez alimut! (violence)”
5. I love the kumkum (electric hot water kettle). I’m not saying that I brought it into my bathroom to shave because the dood (solar water heater) wasn’t hot, but… Ok, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
6. I love how the painter not only asked me for coffee before working on my apartment but how I immediately made it for him without any feelings of weirdness. In the US, I’d have him committed.
7. I love how the Nefesh B’Nefesh Hanukka video on Ben Yehudah Street got a million hits. Now if you’ll please excuse me, I have to go do a flash mob in Gaza. (The Black-Eyed Peas are huge in Khan Yunis.)
8. I love humous for approximately 47,000 different reasons.  By the way, when Israeli kids try to pull a fast one on the substitute teacher, do they use the fake name “Hugh Muss”?
9. I love watching the robot beat the tar out of a suspicious object. That rules. Who needs cable?
10. I love that our 80-something-year-old president is hip enough to have his own YouTube channel. Come on, Shimmy, GET ON JDATE!  “Likes: winning the Nobel Peace Prize and telling off the Turkish Prime Minister. Dislikes: disco and hula hoops.”
11. I love that during a visit to New York, I stopped by the Aroma on the Upper West Side, struck up a conversation with an Israeli woman at the counter, and within thirty seconds, found someone we knew in common. Look out, parents:  there’s a new drug hitting the streets. It’s accessible, it’s addictive, and it’s a menace to society. Goodbye, cocaine; hello, ice Aroma.
12. I love emphatically saying the word “ba-RUUUUUUUUUUUUUR!!!!!!!!!”  It’s like “duh” with more raysh-es.
13. I love that while waiting at a photocopy shop in the dead of summer, an employee walked around and gave out cups of cold water to the customers. That’s what I call Israeli hospitality.
14. I love that the cleaning lady asked, “Do you want me to organize this too? You know, because Pessah is coming…”
15. I love how the HOT guy is also a Polish mother, offering to park and walk upstairs because he felt bad making me come down to give him my modem. And once again, just because I have a thing for the HOT guy, it doesn’t mean I’m gay.
16. I have learned to love sponja, the Israeli system that actually cleans floors. As my friend once said, “what do you call dat theeng in America to clean? The steeck weeth deh deesgusting hairs?  It dah-zent clean, it jahst pushes deh dirty water around!” You nailed it, my friend.
17. I love eating at the sandwich kiosk on Ben Gurion street in Tel Aviv, realizing I don’t have enough cash to pay, and having the guy tell me no problem, just go to the ATM and come back, fully trusting me to do so. Would that happen in America? I’m not sure….
18. I love walking through Mr. Zol and hearing Samantha Fox’s “Touch Me” as a haredi man walks by. Haven’t you figured it out yet?  The Middle East is funny.
19. I love how well-known (and quite pale) American comedian Jim Gaffigan visited Israel for Easter and opened his stand-up show by saying “As you can tell, I am an Ethiopan Jew.” (I must say, I also loved opening for him.)
20. I loved Madonna dancing around with an Israeli flag and screaming “Hello, Israel!”
21. I love how people here name their children with intention. Israel:  “Ehhh…my daughter’s name eez Lihi.  It means “she is to me,’ after her grand-mahther who perished in deh Holocaust.” The US? “Shucks, I call mah boy Luke.” As in the disciple? “Nah, the night he was conceived, his ma and I were watching ‘The Dukes of Hazard.’ ”
22. I love how every conversation in an Anglo doctor’s or accountant’s office inevitably turns to aliyah and why we moved here.  “Nu!?  The humous! Ba-RUUUUUUR!!!!!!!!!!”
23. I love how the car radio displays and the digital parking lot signs read “shana tova.”  The only possible way that could be cooler would be for them to come alive like the Terminator and travel back in time.
24. I love how even the gas stations have cappuccino machines. Forget an oil change, just pour a hafuch (cafe au lait) in the engine.
25. I love going to the beach in March. If you like global warming and you know it, clap your hands (and spray some aerosol into the sky).
26. I love the new Apple stores with the best customer service I’ve ever seen in this country. Are we sure these are really service representatives? Quick, somebody check their passports for “Dubai.”
27. On that note, despite the predictable condemnation, I love that the Mossad can still kick ass and take names (literally).
28. I love the red Castro tag on shirts. If I’m ever visiting Saturn and see someone on the street with that little red identifier, I’ll know I have at least one friend.
29. I love how, unlike in the US, I can withdraw money from the kaspomat (cash machine) of ANY bank and there’s no extra service charge, even if it’s not my own.
30. I love that we can get nominated three years running for the “Best Foreign Film” Oscar. (Not to brag or anything but to those who missed it, I just missed out on taking home “Best Supporting Freier.”)
31. I love going to Tweetups and making the Jewish world even smaller.
32. I love how Israel is kicking Lebanon’s ass in the humous wars. Take that, Hizbullah. Now what about the biggest bottle of arak?  First round’s on me.
33. I love that in a recent episode, the Simpsons came to Israel, that the tour guide spoke Hebrew, and that I understood it.  If he had said yiyeh b’seder, it would have made my year.

34. I love how I recently and for the first time used the word “katanchik” and immediately became 37% more Israeli.
35. I love the terms of endearment that people so willingly endow each other with. “Moteeeeek, hamuuuuuud, ahiiiiii…….kaparaaaa alehaaaaa!!!!!” OK, I don’t even know what that last one means.
36. I love how before Pessah, even the cover of the smutty magazine Banana says “Chag heirut sameah!”  Call me crazy but I have a strange feeling this publication has nothing to do with produce.
37. I love how while hiking, you can suddenly find a ma’ayan (spring) in the middle of nowhere. This probably explains why it took our people 40 years to wander through the desert. (Either that, or they kept making coffee.)
38. I love that part of the hike when it’s time to eat lunch and somebody starts cutting up vegetables to make a salad. What kind of person brings a bottle of olive oil on the hike? I’ll tell you what kind: sabras. And thank G-d for them.
39. I love Israeli tour guides and how they’ll just grab anything off a tree and start eating it. In Israel: “Look at Dudu! He just found some naturally growing Louisa! That is SOOOO cool!” In the US: “Ummm…why is that dude eating a plant?”
40. I love how I went to the Dead Sea for the first time in fifteen years, covered my winter-dried hands with mineral-filled mud, and within days, the cracks in my skin had completely disappeared. I felt like Wilford Brimley in “Cocoon” except without as much ear hair and that smell of old people.
41. I love how even though the next day brings work, people go out in Israel on Saturday night till any hour of the night. (Reason #456 that we drink 45 cups of coffee a day.) Sunday night in the US, it’s as if people are attached to their sofa with a staple gun, bracing themselves for the hell what awaits them Monday. The disdain for the work week is so strong there, I sometimes felt Monday creeping all the way into my Saturday. “Back off, Monday, nothing to see here.” Give me the Israeli Shabbat anytime.
42. I love the insanely awesome juices you can get here, even at the grocery store. Strawberry banana, pomegranate, humous fig. Ok, I made the last one up. This would be a good time to mention again that whereas fruits are tasty and affordable here, you have to take out a small business loan to buy a banana in the US. $1.25 at the airport? No thanks, I’d rather lick the runway.
43. I love Jerusalem’s Kikar Safra on Erev Yom Ha’atzmaut when women come out of the woodwork to show off their 23,000 different folk dances. I don’t know what exactly a woodwork is but apparently they teach one hell of a mayim step there.
44. I love going to the Old City on Good Friday to check out a balagan you just couldn’t find anywhere else in the world.  It’s a combination between Indiana Jones, the Passion of the Christ, and Mos Eisley.
45. I love laughing at news stories about Iran launching rodents into space, the Arab ambassador’s near-marriage to the bearded lady, etc. If you think Israel is funny, take a look at our neighbors.
46. I love how in Israel, Armageddon isn’t some cataclysmic event. It’s a tsomet (intersection).
47. I love that our medical system shocks me every time I go the doctor. “No, seriously, it’s free? You’re kidding, right? But it was just free last week.”
48. I love that so many companies give their employees free cars with unlimited gas. How many Israelis do you think tried driving to New York to go shopping before realizing this was a bad idea?
49. I love the feeling of teamwork on the sherut when people pass the money between passenger and driver. It’s like a tiny kibbutz.  Without cow dung.
50. I love signing emails with “Shabbat shalom,” “chag sameach,” or “shavua tov.”
51. I love the soothing sounds of “sof hashavuaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ragua b’Galgalatz….raguaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.” Just thinking about it drops my blood pressure to three over one.
52. I love how you can set up shop at a beit café for several hours with no one bringing the check to rush you out. I’m pretty sure I could drink my hafuch, split the atom, and calculate pi to a million decimal points before anybody even batted an eyelash.
53. I love how the dreidel here is shin-less. The miracle happened here baby. And by the way, when Israelis say “nes gadol haya po,” they’re talking about a large cup of instant.
54. Same thing, different chag. The Hagaddah just reminds me that I’m in Israel. In the Diaspora: “Next year in Jerusalem.” In Israel: “Next year in Jerusalem rebuilt.” On the Temple Mount? “Next year in Jerusalem rebuilt, RIGHT HERE, BABY!”
55. I love that Israel sent the most successful medical delegation to Haiti to provide help, despite our country’s tiny size. And to the hate-mongering nut jobs who spread bogus rumors about our doctors doing organ harvesting? I have an organ and here’s what you can do with it.
56. I love that the Yom HaZikaron siren is so powerful, even felines show their respects.
57. I love the feeling of arriving to the gate at an international airport en route to Israel, seeing the other Israelis waiting, and thinking, “My people… It’s good to see you again.”
58. I love finding that sweet spot in the Old City of Jaffa where you suddenly find the most beautiful view of Tel Aviv. There ain’t nothing like it.
59. I love café hafuch in the morning, afternoon, and evening. G-d, I love it.
60. I love Erev Rosh Hashana and Leil HaSeder when the roads are packed and you feel the entire nation going home to their families.
61. I love that people are still committed to bringing Gilad Schalit home and that when one of us is truly hurting, we all feel it.
62. I love that I’ve had this once-in-a-lifetime experience and that it’s not over yet.

Benji Lovitt is a stand-up comic and writer. You can book him for a comedy show at www.benjilovitt.com or read his blog at www.whatwarzone.com. (Tell him HSM sent you.)

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