These are my people

Last night my husband and I met friends for dinner at the Tel Aviv marina. I must confess, I was never there before. Aside from the worrying about finding a parking space (you pay the money, you find the space), it was a delightful experience. At the water there are any number of cafes and restaurants. There was also a concert going on and the music wafted across the water. But what amazed me most was the people– laughing, smiling, enjoying life. The place was hopping with people of all ages, singles and families and older folks too. And people were happy and lively. My people. It gave me such joy to be among them. Israelis know how to work, how to innovate, and how to defend themselves. We have not forgotten how to just have fun!

And then this morning I saw this wonderful video.

These are my people.

Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv

This is a photo I took on a warm day last month when my sister and I were walking through the Neve Tzedek area of Tel Aviv. On that day, she and I probably covered a few miles of Tel Aviv on foot, but we were together and so it was fun. Neve Tzedek is the first neighborhood of Tel Aviv and was actually thought of as part of Jaffa in the beginning. Tel Aviv is, of course, celebrating its 100th birthday this year! For a long time, Neve Tzedek was neglected, but in the last 15 years or so, it is being gentrified and homes are being restored. Now it is a very “in” place to live. This is one of the back alleys.

Shadows in the alley. Neve Tedek

Shadows in the alley. Neve Tedek

Here is another picture from that walk:

Open door, Neve Tzedek

Open door, Neve Tzedek

This week

It’s been a busy, but good week this week. On Sunday, the people who had been renting our second apartment moved out and I went upstairs to find it almost perfectly clean! So, instead of the hours of cleaning I anticipated, I did some laundry and washed the bathrooms and counters, and the apartment was ready for its new inhabitants.

My sister arrived early Monday morning. It was really good to see her and so far, it’s been a very nice visit.

Our new olim arrrived yesterday- mother, father, and 5 children. Wow! It’s got to be really hard to make aliya with 5 kids of school age. The whole family seems very excited and happy and we, of course, wish them an easy klita (adjustment to Israel).

At lunch yesterday, I had the wonderful experience of being slimed by my youngest grandson (heretofore to be known as “Cookie”). He had spouted onto my left shoulder earlier in the meal, but when I switched him to my right shoulder, he became a veritable fountain soaking my shoulder, arm, skirt, and the floor. It’s the first time I’ve had a real milk bath. However, Cookie is as lovable as they get and all of us just laughed and laughed and he smiled as we continued giving him smiles and kisses.

Today my sister and I took my husband’s computer monitor (Dell, purchased in November from Notebook Club in Kiryat Matalon, Petach Tikva, who refused to assist us in having it fixed/replaced despite our having taken it into Tel Aviv and having it “fixed” — only to conk out again a week later) back to Tel Aviv for repair/replacement. We were told they would replace it with a new one. We just want one that WORKS!!!

We then walked through Shenkin Street, through the Carmel Market, through Neve Tzedek, over to the walk by the sea, and then headed back to Azrieli Center, finally hailing a taxi at the corner of Melech George and Dizengoff. It was a long long walk. I think she had fun. I know I did.

The Real Israel

When I lived in Oklahoma in the 1980s and talked about visiting Israel, the people I knew would urge me to be careful when I was in Beirut. I would explain to them that Beirut was in Lebanon, a country that I had no plans to visit. They would respond with something like, “Well, you need to be careful anyway” as if they didn’t buy a word of what I was saying.

Recently I met with people who were visiting Israel for the first time. They were surprised at how modern and Western it is. They talked about the friendly people and the clean rest room facilities and water that can be drunk and modern hotels and skyscrapers and delicious foods of all ethnic varieties. They had expected the ancient ruins and the historical monuments, and of course, the breathtaking vistas, but they were stunned with the modernity and the cosmopolitan feeling that pervades.

So it didn’t surprise me when another family we met recently reported hearing from someone in their Midwest American city the following about Israel, “We’re talking sand. We’re talking camels. We’re talking burkas.”

All I can say to that is come and visit our little piece of paradise. See it for yourself! From the mountains of the Hermon, covered with snow in the winter to the sparkling gulf at Eilat to the wooded trails of the Galilee to calm waters of the Kinneret to the bustle of Tel Aviv to the breathtakingly beautiful city of Jerusalem—Israel will wow you! And come and see our hi-tech industries, setting world standards. Enjoy sitting in a sidewalk café. And most of all, enjoy our most precious products—the bright-eyed, smiling children. Israel will lift your heart and your soul.