I reclined in a pool lounge chair sipping mineral water as the Mediterranean’s waves lapped at my bare feet as I listened to the Beach Boys on my iPod and read “Sacred Fragments” by R’ Neil Gillman.
That was only one aspect of my “senior ditch-day” in Tel Aviv. I had a valid excuse though, I needed to settle the matter of my paper ticket. El Al could have easily waived the $100 (450) charge due to the fact that they took my ticket when they were searching for my luggage, but they did not. Sigh…It was also another $100 to change the flight. That was quite expensive. What was comparatively cheap was the ride there. The Sherut from Kikar Tzion at the foot of Ben Yehuda in Jerusalem to the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv cost $4.44). Travel within Tel Aviv was relatively cheap as well, and the bus system wasn’t SO confusing (even though there are no bus maps or any semblance of organization within the mass-transit systems in this country)
I said the bracha “Oseh et HaYam HaGadol” upon putting my feet into the Mediterranean Sea. This is an ancient prayer written specifically for this body of water which is this prayer’s namesake, The Great Sea.
I for some reason also want to mention the most unfortunately transliterated highway exit on the 1, the highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is Shaar HaGay (literally the Valley Gate). Somebody may take this the wrong way and American children might make fun of it.
Pelephone Conversation with my cousin Tammi:
Tammi: why do you want to work on a kibbutz
Me: I want a job where I can get my hands dirty
Tammi: I have a friend who needs a gardener
Me: No thanks, I want to wash cows or something
Haredi Center of Technological Studies?!
When I return to the Holy City of New York, will I be entering a warzone? I chose Newark over JFK because there is no way I’m going through the Williamsburg Demilitarized Zone to get to Manhattan. Will the Satmar (né Sata-Mare, or Saint Mary) groups there be rioting and killing again? Let us not forget the matter of the Williamsburg Eruv a couple of years back.
I’ve decided to take advantage of the interesting juices available in the shuk. First, a medium glass of straight up etrog (he juiced it in front of me… alright how many of you had an impure thought?…) After washing it down with water (it was way too tart) and picking up some dates (again, you’re misleading yourself), and then I had the Royal Cider (according to the Rambam) and Rambam juice. It made me feel like criticizing everyone in the world besides Muslims and Aristotle (sorry, just an undeserved cheap shot at Maimonides)
(This entry was added retroactively on Tuesday, May 9th, but originally written on Thursday, May 4th... at least I tried to make it retroactive)