Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Mediterranean

From September 19, 2008

On Tuesday an Israeli ambassador of some kind came to speak to us. He
spoke about the incorrectness of the term "middle east" and how the
new dream is "the Mediterranean." French President, Nicolas Sarkozy is
at the forefront of this vision. he claims that the Mediterranean is
like one home on all shores. And can be unified. Personally, I don't
see what the problem with the term "middle east" is, but it is a nice
idea.So yesterday I took notice of the similar aspects in Tel Aviv and
in the other Mediterranean countries I have visited.

We, the students, organized a trip to the Israeli urban city that lies
an hour north of Jerusalem. We got dropped off on the most beautiful
beach I have ever seen in my life. the sand was soft, the sky blue and
the water was crystal clear. A group of 80 loud Americans on a quiet
beach is not hard to miss. But no one seemed to mind and we even
caught a couple people taking pictures of our group playing games in
the water.

After a few hours on the beach a group headed across town to the Tel
Aviv art museum. It turned out to be well worth the 45 minute walk
there. The collection was impressive. There was an entire room full of
Chagall. And a few Monet's, Renoir's and Van Gogh's.

We had to walk back to the beach to find a JC boy who didn't mind
hanging out with us. (We have to travel in groups of three, and with a
guy after dark.) Soon we spotted an open air marked full of spices,
drums, scarves and genie pants. The prices in Tel Aviv were
astoundingly cheaper than in Jerusalem. So we stocked up on some

The difference between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is striking. The first
is a sprawling metropolis of commerce while the ladder is first and
foremost sacred and historical.

Despite hours and hours in the sun I was the only one who didn't get
sunburned. It probably helped that I applied sunscreen five times
throughout the day. (Mom will be so proud.)

Things around the center are pretty great. Every day someone watches
either Indiana Jones III, Fiddler on the Roof, or Aladdin. The scene
where Jasmin walks around the market place always brings bursts of
laughter. "A pretty necklace for a pretty lady." It seems straight out
of my life.

Biblical jokes are commonplace now. During lunch i always hear "Is
there any room for me at the inn? .... I mean the table."

Love from Yisriel

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