Tuesday, January 16, 2007


More from Israel

In addition to the spirituality, the warmth of the people, the seriousness of the politics, here are some of the other things I loved about Israel...

1. My new friend Henry refers to the hummus in Israel as "sex in a bowl." He is right. It is one of the best things you will ever taste.

2. Mud from the Dead Sea heals everything. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. It has a salt content so high that it will kill you if you swallow a gulp. However, the mud from the sea floor is magic. I had exczema on part of my left hand for weeks. On Sunday I stuck my left hand into the sea and into the mud. It burned like hell for about five minutes, but since then the exczema has cleared up. My hand is not even red any more. Amazing!

3. You can buy a bag of anything for less than 20 Shekels (about $4.00). Bags of dates, bags of beads, bags of bread, bags of salt, bags of hot jelebi (fried dough-yummm!)...you get the point.

4. Everything in the arab quarter of the old city in Jerusalem costs 40% less than the price they originally ask you for. I was walking down a tiny street past Station of the Cross III and a man jumped out from an alley way and said to me, "You want car? I have nice car for you American lady, good price." And then a little kid rode by on a bicycle and spit on me (but thats for a different list).

5. Everything is cooked in copious amounts of olive oil (the green kind!)

6. Almost every day they (I dont know who they is) clean away all of the paper prayers and wishes that people place in the cracks and crevices of the Western Wall. They bury the wishes and prayers in holy ground, making room in the wall for more wishes.

7. Hebrew is written from right to left. Why? Because Hebrew is an ancient language and before the days of paper and note pads things needed to be etched and carved in stone. Given that most of the population then and now is right handed it was and is much easier to carve out letters from right to left than the reverse. One holds the carving instrument at an angle in the left hand and bangs a mallet with the right, thus creating letters from right to left.

8. "Fish" means shell fish (shrimp, calamari, etc) "Meat" means other kinds of fish (a.k.a. salmon) and also meat like red meat and poultry.

9. Camels have a punk rock attitude like no other animal

10. When Israelis speak Hebrew they speak like Israelis, when the speak English they speak like New Yorkers.

11. All signs are written in Hebrew and Arabic. Every sign you look at is a fantastical graphic design (for those of us that dont speak Hebrew or Arabic)

12. Tel Aviv clubs and bars play huge amounts of Depeche Mode and the Cure

13. I wanted to get a quickie re-Baptism and my friend now and forever more known as Eli wanted to get a quickie Bar Mitzvah, but sadly Jerusalem is not like Vegas. Probably a good thing in the long run.

more to come.

My sentiments on hummus echo that of Henry, it is the nectar of the gods. Particularly the Sabra hummus that comes in the red containers at the bodega, i'd bathe in it if I could. The one thing I was craving during the Stomach Flu of 2007 was hummus. I'm having withdrawal symptoms.
Just can't handle hummus... #12 made my heart leap. How nice for you!!! Keep the updates coming!!!
LL...nothing that comes in a container in the US can compare to the hummus of Israel...but I did hear that there is an Israeli restaurant close to the Roslyn train station that is good. I must go ASAP.

Oh how I crave the hummus.
7. Shutup!

So cool.
PS You've kind of ruined hummus for me. And I love hummus! Now all I keep thinking is, "This stuff? This stuff doesn't deserve to wipe real hummus' ass."
michael...sabra comes close. not perfect, but close...as you can see from above LL thinks so too.
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