Thursday, 7 June 2007

12 to 12

This morning I was tagged in a memo started by Nefesh B'Nefesh, asking olim to list 12 things they love about Israel and send them on to friends, family, and Jew's all around the world.

1. Everything is negotiable – In Israel, we don’t just negotiate when buying a house. Even when going to buy some new shoes, don’t leave until you’ve got 50 shek off and a free pair of socks.

2. Tremping – In England, if you ever saw someone standing by a motorway junction with an outstretched finger, you would think “weirdo”. If you ever saw someone pull over for that guy, you would think “death-wish”. Although not officially recommended, it’s an alternative form of transport to the bus and train for many Israelis. I once got a tremp from an MK!

3. Israeli National Football Team – Every time Israel competes in the qualifiers for a major international football tournament, the Israeli fans really believe that this year will be the year. It obviously won’t be because the national team is made up predominantly of Jews who play every week in what is essentially a Jewish league. Jews are not and will never be that good at footbal, or any other sport for that matter.

4. Down to Earth – I love the fact that you often pass by an ordinary looking block of flats with an extraordinary amount of security outside. That is because the mayor or an MK or a judge lives in a modest three bedroom flat inside. (Not true for all our leaders but certainly true for quite a few!)

5. Marrying out – Although we usually frown upon dating and marrying out of the faith, we all shep nachas from Israeli model, Bar Refaeli. Can it really be that she is Jewish and so hot and dating Leo di Caprio?!

6. Israeli small-talk – On meeting someone for the first time, expect to be asked: “How much do you earn?” and “How many square meters is your home?” and “When are you going to have a child?”

7. Security – When you enter a shop, the guard asks you, “Are you carrying a weapon?” As if a terrorist would for sure say yes, apologise for the trouble he was about to cause and voluntarily hand himself over to the police.

8. Wealth – Western Olim Chadashim all talk about how much less they earn and how hard life is in Israel… but then buy a new car with zechuyot and build a brand new house. Who ever does that in London or New York?

9. The Environment – Israelis are by no means the biggest environmentalists but actually take decent care of it without even realising. Most flats have a dud shemesh, heating water through solar power most of the year, and fruit and vegetables is home-grown which means that it’s only available in season and doesn’t accumulate too many “food miles”.

10. Janglo
– The world’s only website where you can buy a second-hand cholent pot (warning: may need a clean) or sell your left over shemura matza.

11. Easily excited – Israelis get excited about the most ordinary things like a new road or tunnel. When the road to Gush Etzion was first opened, there were massive traffic jams as everyone tried to be first to see the tunnels.

12. Anti-Semitism – Many olim leave their home countries because of anti-Semitism. The great thing about Israel is that instead of being on the receiving end of anti-Semitism, you can actually become a fairly decent antisemite yourself. E.g. “Those conniving charedim steal our money and all stink” or “Those Peace Now bastards are worse than the blood-thirsty Nazis”.

1 comment:

eliesheva said...

mmmmm... antisemitism...