Only in Israel

Eddie and the White Smoke

February 18, 2014

We love our 1995 Toyota Corolla. It’s in fantastic shape and is our only car for driving out of Jerusalem. (Our other car is a Better Place electric vehicle which is now essentially a very expensive “city car” – but that’s another story.) So, when a car repairperson rolled down the window in his vehicle and […]

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Lining up for the FoodTrip

July 30, 2013

We came for the food but stayed for the line – that magnificent, long and winding, eager and utterly un-Israeli orderly line that was so unexpected the program’s organizer felt compelled to break into the music, take the mic and comment on its very existence. The food and the line were both part of this […]

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Dirty Diapers of Shavuot Past

May 13, 2013

It was Shavuot 1985. I had finished college and had come to Israel the year before, where I was in the flush of religious epiphany. Everything was new, exciting and, as I gushed to family and friends back home, true – my opinions still untarnished by politics, the wisdom that comes when you’ve got more than 23 years of […]

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Falafel Ovadia Patriarch Passes Away

April 10, 2013

Ovadia Ched died recently. Most residents of southern Jerusalem have felt his impact – even if they never met the man himself – in their stomachs. Ched was the owner of the eponymous felafel stand that has stood on Bethlehem Road in Baka for nearly 40 years. Ched was 82 when he died after a […]

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Supersol Gets Spooky Online

March 25, 2013

I hate grocery shopping in Israel. I might hate it in the Old Country too, but I don’t remember it so well. But here, I have no problem recalling my recoil. The aisles are too narrow, the lines are ridiculously long and slow, the store (in winter) has no heating, and whoever heard of a […]

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Breaking “Distance”

December 31, 2012

Our daughter Merav completed an advanced communications course in the army last week that will allow her to move up in her IDF position. The one-month long program was held at a “closed” base (that’s one where you sleep there, do guard duty, and can’t leave unless given special permission) and was similar in style […]

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Bagels, Politics and Personal Ownership, Here and There

November 7, 2012

While all eyes today have understandably been focused on the U.S. elections, sometimes it’s the little things that are elevated to true shmooze status. And for fast foodies in Jerusalem last week, it was the closing of Tal Bagels on Emek Refaim. Let’s face it, no matter who’s president, you still have to eat bagels…at least a […]

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Ten Years of This Normal Life

September 11, 2012

The original logo for This Normal Life It was ten years ago that I started writing This Normal Life, my personal blog. And for ten years, I have posted a minimum of one essay per week. Actually, in the first year, I published more like 2-3 a week, but as the blog became more established […]

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The Personal Beach Concierge

August 29, 2012

I have a love-hate relationship with the beach. Speaking with friends, I know I’m not the only one. But I may have a solution…and a potential moneymaker to boot. The love part: dipping in the warm Mediterranean waters of August (after the jellyfish of July have jumped ship); feeling the sand between my toes; chilling […]

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Lost in Africa, Israel

August 15, 2012

We were on a guided tour of South Tel Aviv to get an in-person look at what dominated the news a few months back when my friend Eliot and I got lost. We were visiting the Central Bus Station and we had to use the bathroom. When we came out, our group was gone. As […]

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