I’ve been in Israel a lot lately. It’s very much a privilege that I get to go so often for work and for personal reasons. A lot of people I know have never been here. They always ask me, “what’s it like?”
Israel is amazing. But there are probably more than a million people who can tell you about that and why, and I think I’ve even written about it before, too.
However, after a while you begin to note the ironies and paradoxes here that can make your head spin. Better writers than I have written prolifically on this subject. Consider this a medium quality addendum to their literature and poetry.
Men in their 20s and 30s drive on motor scooters driving out of control fast (even on the sidewalks) while the elderly speed in their wheel chairs down busy streets causing traffic jams.
An entire country will stop to mourn a fallen soldier, yet a young person killed in a traffic fatality is just another Friday night.
Interracial harmony exists between Jews and Jews. Less integration exists among Jews and Arabs except in the hotels of Jerusalem.
Women feel underdressed in Jerusalem wearing jeans and not a long skirt and overdressed in Tel Aviv without a tank top and short skirt.
The cleaning woman doesn’t speak Hebrew, but speaks fluent English.
The doctor treating an only English speaking patient only speaks Russian and Hebrew.
Stores are never open, except when they are.
The God of everyone lives in Jerusalem, but everyone has a different prophet and he is the best one.
A woman dressed in full Muslim garb practices driving with the Hebrew letter lamed (learner) prominently displayed while her sister in Saudi Arabia is arrested for even trying to drive.
Doctors strike yet continue to provide great medical care, in a socialized health care system.
Some tourists intensely listen to their tour guide while a few think about when is their next chance to hook up, get drunk and/or become more tan.
If you drive in Jerusalem on Shabbat you will get screamed at by little Haredi kids yelling, “Shabbas.” Yet still they and their parents move to the side and let you through without incident.
Gay marriage is recognized, as long as you get married somewhere else where gay marriage is legal.
The boy you danced Stairway to Heaven with at a BBYO dance is now unrecognizably right wing and lives in a settlement.
The Biggest communication problems with your boyfriend’s parents is not being able to communicate with them in Hebrew.
Eating high calorie breakfasts feels healthier than eating nothing for breakfast at home. ( Although I haven’t stepped on a scale.)
A Chicagoan is happy that it’s hot out, but stays out of the sun for fear of skin damage.
Some men over 40 wear earrings, sport ponytails and wear kippot.
The liberal Rabbi preaching tolerance says in the next breath he wouldn't attend a mixed marriage wedding, even if it were his brother's.
Young Haredi girls wear clothes for a Chicago November on hot scorching day.
Rabbi Shmeli Boteach is the only person The Jerusalem Post could find to defend Barack Obama.
Journalists are free to cover the Syrian conflict from the safety of Tel Aviv.
There are Shabbat Elevators so people who observe the Sabbath don't have to actually press any buttons. Only the elevators are so loud, that it's hard to rest because the doors are opening and closing constantly.
You can put anything in a pita, except pasta.
What would you add?