Last year was one of the most amazing seasons in Israel I can remember for pomegranates. Can’t wait for the new ones on the way….
Who are the Shabbos police anyway? They definitely have a laid back approach. Several weeks ago our upstairs neighbors were having a loud and obnoxious party on a Friday night and I had to walk down to the local station to complain because knocking on the neighbor’s door didn’t help.
The cops came, entered their apartment for a few minutes, and then disappeared. The noise dipped for almost ten minutes and then went on till four in the morning.
Those Shabbos police must really be busy because they never came back…
Then, walking home from shul on another Shabbos day we saw a cop car fly by a student driver and stop carefully by a dumpster with smoke protruding from it. As CB and I watched the cop got out of his car, looked in the large plastic container, and returned to the vehicle with a lit cigarette.
He actually lit his cigarette with the evidence.
He was the most suave cop I’d seen in a long time and he wasn’t worried about a thing. In fact, he looked like he was ready for another ‘look’ at the ‘situation’ so he could light up another one.
Ok, maybe he didn’t really light his cigarette from the small fire but it sure looked that way.
I nodded to him as if to ask if everything was ok. He nodded back as if to say everything was under his control. He had it all under control….
“Daddy,” a little boy said as I was passing by him and his father. “Is the Temple buried under ground?”
It was truly amazing to hear. As an adult I understand the destruction in a very complex way. In fact it’s not unreasonable to say I don’t understand it at all but I still seem to make up all kinds of reasons why it’s no longer standing and why it has not been rebuilt yet. To this little boy it was simply dead; buried.
There were many such questions being asked tonight by many children to their parents. I heard them in every nook and cranny.
Meanwhile, as groups of Jews read the Book of Lamentations and chanted additional passages about this aweful day the crowds mingled; there was a sort of euphoria which was definitely a paradox on the night.
It can’t be denied that our tradition tells us this tragic moment on the annual calendar will eventually be known as a festival and as previous experiences to the Western Wall on Tisha B’Av have shown me, there is a zest for redemption in the air.
AND who would have thought that on all nights cameras would be held by all walks of life at the Wall snapping shots left and right and no one would flinch. Tisha B’Av at the Wall seems to be a photographer’s dream.
Furthermore, amidst all the mourning/giddiness over the thought of the redemption happening at any moment, the Islamic call to prayer rang in the background and just a few alleyways away Muslims were feasting after a long day of Ramadan fasting.
Tomorrow we’ll be fasting simultaneously but for different reasons. Two hungry nations living side by side, stomachs grumbling.
What craziness! What chaos! How did we get here!
The Jewish People have returned after 2000 years to their ancient homeland. A promise that was made is coming true. Now we are waiting for it’s fulfillment.
I’ve lived in Israel 13 years and have been recycling for much of that time putting plastic bottles in the bottle cages and paper in the round metal canisters around the city.
When it came to other materials like glass and aluminum I’ve always felt like I could be doing more but there hasn’t really been an outlet for that kind of recycling. I know the government is working on it and when they finally revamp the recycling system it will mean a lot to this tiny but great country yet as things go in the Holy Land, it may take a while longer.
It was ironic that the first time I tried returning beer and wine bottles to a local grocery store was just before Passover several years ago and was turned away because they said they already sold their chametz. Understanding the dilemma I threw the bottles in the regular trash planning to try it again sometime, however that sometime lasted longer than I anticipated.
A couple of months ago I did some inquiring and discovered one of the big supermarkets take glass for recycling -but not all glass, as they only accept bottles which say they are worth 25 or 30 agurot.
This was kind of strange because as far as I understand, glass is glass. It’s not like plastic which has enough varieties that much of it can’t be recycled or the costs for doing so are too high. My suspicion is that the situation has something to do with the market, corporations, and big business but I can say for sure.
Nevertheless, I brought a bunch of glass bottles to the store and asked customer service what to do with them. I was told to count how many I had, leave them in a carriage near the register, and come back for my money.
Astonished I asked, “You’re not going to count them?”
No, she wasn’t. It was a total honors system. I could have said I brought 30 bottles instead of 15 and they wouldn’t have known.
Now I know it’s just a little change we’re talking about but it meant something special to know that even in a big chain store in Israel the customer is still trusted even if the customer service could often be tweaked.