Notes on Israel
After receiving a proposal from the editorial office of the newspaper "Vancouver and we" to write several articles about Israel, she agreed almost instantly for several reasons. First, if your mother subtly hints every day: “Lena, at 27, you need not to twist your nose, but what they suggest is to immediately agree, especially if the person is good; otherwise, you will spend your whole life in girls and on the Internet” then you too would immediately agree. Indeed, the editor-in-chief, Irina, is a good person, and therefore, it is necessary to agree without thinking as long as they offer. Not to think about it is generally the main condition for girls at 27, I remember that absolutely for sure. Secondly, I lived for 16 years on the Promised Land, and I dare to hope, I know Israel very well, and there is a chance that I can write about it.
Israel is, there are letters. Why not write, isn't it? I think this is a very reasonable and strong reason for writing about Israel.
I arrived in the Middle East as a 10-year-old child, and at the age of 26 I left for Vancouver a fully formed person, a girl, a graphic designer, captain of the KVN team, and, based on all of the above, just a very impish person with exorbitantly developed skills of verbalization. Simply put - a long tongue and indestructible habits graphomaniac. The latter is the third reason for my agreement. Well, really, if in Vancouver there is no opportunity to write scripts for numerous KVN events, how much can you torment your friends with long and sensitive letters? Well, the fourth reason, the most simple and probably predictable. I love this small, but so diverse, with a bright personality and unlike any other country in the world. If the words "historic homeland" always sounded a little pathetic for me, then "Eretz Israel is my second homeland" and "Israel is the country of my childhood" I say with joy and some pride, with a touch of nostalgia for numerous friends and 16 years of life in Israel .
Israel is a very ambiguous country in terms of politics and religions. A country attractive for tourists due to the warm climate and a lot of entertainment. The country of dreams and the goal of aspirations for pilgrims - thanks to the holy places of the three great religions.
But still I personally would like to tell about Israel not at all from the point of view of a “guide”. General information about historical monuments, culture, shrines, excursions, treatment and recreation is easy to find on the websites of travel companies on the Internet and on promotional flyers.
I would like to tell you about extraordinary Israel as about "Israel ordinary." About that Israel, which is not always and not all you see through the eyes of a tourist. About people, life, personal impressions and emotions, events grandiose and daily-small. In a word, about what the life of an ordinary "Russian Israelite" consists of. Of course, I still try to write about cities, resorts and various places in Israel. Both about popular and advertised, and about less known, but no less interesting. Perhaps, to any reader, this information will seem not just curious, but also useful if you are thinking of going to Israel as a tourist. Fully justifying the saying "Every kulik praises his swamp," I will write with a fair amount of affection for Israel, but I will try to be objective.
My Canadian friends often ask questions about Israeli life. From the "popular" and sometimes puzzling questions I can list such. "How did you live there when Israel fights so often?" "Is it true that in Israel there is a universal army in which both boys and girls serve?" "How can you live in a country where there are only Jews?" "Is it really terribly hot? Is it almost desert?" "Israel is a very religious country, did this not hinder you?" "Is circumcision necessary for everyone living in Israel?" "In Israel, do not eat pork at all?" Well, and perhaps the most interesting question I was asked by the English teacher at ESL school: "Lena, did you live in Netanya? Is there a department (!) Of Hezbollah there?"
I do not know what other questions may arise from grateful readers of my writings (in this case, I mean that I am grateful that you read this, and did not assume that you will thank), but I will be happy to answer any questions and with pleasure I will write about what might be of interest to you. In Israel in full family composition, we arrived on a warm January evening. The first thing that struck us deeply after the snow-covered Moscow streets was that the evening was really warm. The air smelled of spices and airplanes, the sky was unreal like a watercolor sketch, and at the entrance to the airport dwarf lemon trees grew in tubs. Sweated at once in their coats and down jackets, the new repatriates threw off their outer clothing and slyly felt the lemons - really real ones? Lemons in tubs, one might say, "on the street"? Why does nobody break them? In 93, when tangerines were bought more often for Christmas holidays under the Christmas tree, citrus groves surrounding the city, palm and date plantations along the roads for us were an unreal decoration of a new life. At first, we constantly ate the oranges with which our newfound homeland met us. Against the background of orange trees, they were photographed in various bizarre poses, crushed grapefruit and tangerine juice in the mornings, all the vases in the house were filled with cheerful orange balls, and Israel seemed to be some freakish cross between "Greece in which everything is there" and endless New Year holidays. After Israel, I'm still not indifferent to citrus fruits. I can not stand oranges and generally do not eat them, they just do not climb into me. Although, according to the Mediterranean habit, almost any food in our house today, from fish to tea, is generously poured with lemon juice. And, perhaps, the most favorite smell is the delicate and subtle smell of the blooming “pardesa”, translated from Hebrew - “orange garden”.
By the way, to the burning question of whether pork is eaten in Israel. In Israel, one of the commonplace jokes is “human life is considered the highest priority among Jews. A Jew can break any commandment if his life is in danger. Therefore, if a Jew says:“ I will die if we don’t eat pork right now! ” eat pork. " So they eat pork like shrimp, flounder and other non-kosher foods. Far from everyone observes kashrut, and in Israel there are many (for example, in Netanya there are about 70 such stores) “non-kosher” stores, the so-called “delicacies” or simply “Russians”. Starting from the huge supermarkets of the Tiv-Taam chain, ending with many shops with the nostalgic names Kievsky, Slavutych, Three Seven ... Pork steaks can be bought in any of them, like the Barberry candies, bagels, black seeds and caviar, Riga sprats and citro "Buratino". The range of "Russian" stores is not much different from similar stores in Russia, except that it is slightly more diverse, considering that Israel sells with almost all countries of the world. Still, it would be strange if the whole country inhabited by Jews would be satisfied with trade only with neighboring countries, it is clear to everyone. There are a lot of non-kosher restaurants in Israel, where you can also find "Basar Lavan" (translated as "white meat", that's exactly what pork is called in Israel). True, many complain that "some pork is different." Yes, a little different. The fact is that in Israel pigs are fed not only with mixed feed, but also with the notorious oranges, so the pork in Israel is less fatty, and, as some gourmands say, "gives away slightly citrus."
However, on the first day of arrival, we least thought about pork, warm patriotic feelings overwhelmed us, and still really wanted to "go back home." After passing through customs and passport control, all newly minted Israelis settled in the waiting room, vividly trying to recall some good Hebrew words appropriate for the solemn hand-out ceremony "Teudat Ole" (certificates of a new repatriate, this is the first document that newly arrived repatriates receive, and which is subsequently replaced by the usual Israeli identity card "Teudat Zeut") and money (the first part of the so-called "Basket of Absorption"). In addition to "Shalom Leha" (translated into Russian - "peace be upon you", this is the usual greeting in Israel) nothing came to mind.
The atmosphere was discharged by a sweet girl in the form of customs service. In pure Russian with a soft Ukrainian accent, she asked all the men present to go to the fifth room. She waved her hand in the right direction like Gagarin and smiled like Dzhokonda. "I will not go!" - announced the trumpet voice of the Jericho trumpet, turning into a falsetto, somehow not quite the Zionist-minded father. "Liusya, do not you understand?! But surely compulsory circumcision will be done!" Men were numb and caught up in color with the January lemons. In every passing customs officer saw a surgeon, all the Israelis around them smiled sardonic smiles. “Schliemazla!” - the linguist woke up in his father. He cursed in pure Yiddish, which he had never known before, and clutched at his heart and his mother's hand with a gesture of a drowning man, in whose hands, as we know, his salvation. A brother standing nearby and some other brave Jewish men depicted a group theater of shadows and a pack of dying swans at the same time. Women severely moved the ranks and eyebrows and, compassionately saying "Kitty, maybe it will cost more?" and all sorts of other tenderness, transferring someone from one person’s hands to one of the faint and dizzy, volunteered him and shoved him through the right door.
The waiting room was covered with a dramatic mkhatovskaya pause. After an eternity of about 10 minutes, the pioneer fell out of the door, shining like a jubilee shekel. “They simply asked if I was fit for military service and in which troops I was in the Russian army!” The army seemed at that time a great alternative to circumcision. As you know, everything is known in comparison, and my brother and dad have the opportunity to lie down on some embrasure as Alexander Matrosov, but later it turned out to be a more attractive idea than circumcision at Ben Gurion airport right now, without the possibility of moral preparation for Jewry . The repatriates cheered up and began to persecute stories about ensigns, demobilization and other pleasures of life.
After completing the necessary formalities with the documents, we went to the taxi stands. Where to go, none of us had any idea. The driver of the minibus that transported "Olim Hadashim" (newly arrived repatriates) to Israel, said that he had free seats before Netanya. "Netanya ..." That sounded promising. No less than Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, and the general family council decided: we must go! So we chose the city in which we were to live. However, about Netanya - next time.
A circumcision, the traditional "brit mila" do boys at the age of 7 days, noisily celebrating it in restaurants and in the family circle. However, for medical reasons or on request, circumcision is done in any hospital in Israel, at any age, under local anesthesia.
Israel is joking: Jews are the most optimistic people in the world, they still don’t know what will grow up, but they are already cutting!