Sunday, April 22, 2012

We're One of the World's Happiest Countries! Happy Independence Day!

Shalom Girls & Boys:

I hope you're getting ready to celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut -- Israel Independence Day. Everybody over here is. Flags are flying -- like this one specially made for car windows.
What's more, people are smiling, and there's a lot to smile about. There has to be, otherwise why would the U.N. declare us the 14th happiest country in the world

I know you're asking "WHAAT! How can that be?" You're right, we're not exactly located in the best neighborhood, and let's face it the neighbors want us to move out. But we're not budging. Why we're not is the top reason we're so happy. We've done it. We've returned to the land of Israel and built one unbelievable country not only for us, but for all Jews around the world. 

That's one BIG reason to celebrate. Not just us, you too. I recently heard a Jewish mother in America say that now that her children are in their twenties, no longer in Day School and learning about Israel, Yom Ha'Atzmaut is not really important. HUH!!!???? I really gave it to her. Regardless of how old you are Yom Ha'Atzmaut should be important to you and every Jew around the world.  Why? Because it's good to know that all of us have each other and a wonderful country.

So that's my preach for the day, but that lady got me really upset.

According to the U.N. report, political freedom, people you can count on -- meaning strong friendships and loving family -- job security, good mental and physical health are all part of the happiness picture.  We've got oodles of most of that. Plus we have other reasons to be so happy and I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
Yom Ha'atzma'ut Sa'me'ach. Happy Israel Independence Day!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Israeli Arabs LOVE Eating Matza!

Shalom Girls & Boys:

Since Passover is just around the corner, I'm on my way to buy Matza and you'll never guess where.  Not at the supermarket.  Not at the local makolet -- grocery store. Not in the shuk -- outdoor market.
I'm buzzing by Jaffa (next to Tel Aviv), Umm el-Fahm (a city up north) and Nazareth (another city up north) where many Israeli Arabs live. You can't believe the amount of Matza they sell there.  In fact, if I don't rush it will be sold out.

Israeli Arabs say that nothing beats Matza. It's a delicacy they wait for once a year.  They love the taste. They love the texture. They eat it from the start of Passover to the end. Then they run out and buy some more.

Who would believe? Do we live in a crazy country or not?  Matza -- the bread of affliction symbolizing our flight to freedom from the Egyptians -- brings Arabs and Jews together??!! Well, not exactly. The fact is that not all Israeli Jews look forward to eating it. They kvetch that it doesn't fill them up like bread, has too many carbs and crumbles too quickly. You name it, there's a complaint, which is only fitting for this holiday since the Bible reports that once we were in the desert we proved that we were (and still are) a nation of kvetchers. And get this! Do you know what many of us in Tel Aviv look forward to on Passover? Actually, on the night Passover ends? We can't wait to go to Jaffa.

To be more exact -- we go to the Abulafia bakery to savor the taste of freshly baked pita bread and other baked goodies.

So I guess, the best way to an Israeli Jew and an Israeli Arab's heart is through the stomach. Passover is proof of the pudding -- Kosher for Passover pudding that is.

Chag Sameach...Zvuvi

Matza photo credit
Pita bread photo credit