Only in Israel

Rebranding Zionism (Zionism = Calendarism)

March 21, 2016

I interview people for a living. Many of the articles I write are for publications outside of Israel. For those conversations, I don’t usually identify myself as living in Jerusalem – I want the person I’m speaking with to be the focus of the article, not me. I have a U.S. phone number, so there’s […]

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Rekindling the romance in a love-lost marriage

February 2, 2016

I’m not sure when it happened or even when I realized it. But something had shifted. After 20 years, we both had changed so much. Everyone and everything does of course. Why would I expect that we’d be exactly the same as when we first got together? We evolve, we grow; hopefully together. But in […]

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Re-entry syndrome and the five stages of aliyah

September 27, 2015

“It’s called re-entry syndrome,” my therapist friend Nomi explained to me as I was describing the difficulty I was having returning to Israel after our recent vacation abroad. “It happens to everyone.” It’s especially acute, she added, when you’ve just come from an especially polite country such as Norway, where we’d just spent two weeks […]

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Silence, Mindfulness and Recovering from Election Obsession

April 20, 2015

After months of election obsession, rapaciously reading everything I could, poring over polls and talking with anyone and everyone I could for the better part of the winter, I did the only thing left to do. I shut up. Literally. Just a few days after the votes were tallied, my wife and drove up to […]

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Embracing the Third Culture

June 13, 2014

Ever since we moved to Israel 20 years ago, I’ve always felt like I don’t quite fit in anywhere. I’ll never be truly Israeli, since I didn’t grow up with all the pop culture references someone born in the country knows intuitively. And I’m not fully American anymore either, since I haven’t resided in the […]

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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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