schug ba’tzad

May 29, 2008

Tidying up some paperwork left over from the trip, and came by a snippet or paper with some notes on it – on the shabbat morning, while I was meandering out for a great cup of espresso, walking across Kikar Rabin in Tel Aviv, I walked by a man on his way to shul, wrapped in his large tallis – a sight I’m not used to seeing – so I realized he probably doesn’t want to carry it (is there an eruv in Tel Aviv?), but then I noticed he was carrying a newspaper tucked under his arm. hmmmm. Didn’t want to offend him by taking a picture, tho’ it would have made a great photo.

Then, my great breakfast – jachnoon. A little schug ba’tzad, please, for this amazing yemenite (?) dish. so tasty. Todah Rabah.


May 14, 2008

I’ve posted photos at

Probably easiest to go to the website, and then click on slideshow with something like a 1-second interval since there are so many. I’ve included only a few captions – mainly to show when I’m on the move to a new place, and people I got to reconnect with. I have a new camera, and took lots of photos! It was a great and very full trip.

I travelled to Israel with alot of the folks going on the Jewish Federation’s “Israel@60” trip, and met J- writer Dan Pine on board – his blog, kept track of their trip, as well as SF Mayor Gavin Newsom’s time in Israel. It was fun to read what those folks were up to, and see the San Francisco mayor enjoying himself at the beautiful Tel Aviv beach.

changes on kibbutz

May 8, 2008

I’ve been learning about the various kinds of changes happening on kibbutz. “shitufi” vs. “mechadesh” i.e. “participatory” vs. “renewing”. Adapting to changes, still maintaining cooperative community. A very interesting process which affects so many people. It represents the changes in the country. As my friend in Tel Aviv said on my first day here, when I asked her about the growing gap between rich and poor, she said “everybody used to be poor, and now that’s not the case.” Obviously a big generalization, but it was succinct, and definitely contains some truth. A friend sent me this link, which I found interesting, tho I didn’t agree with everything… it’s too easy to make big sweeping generalizations, about the long processes people go through to decide on how they’re going to live. There are so many complexities and nuances.

I’ll be adding more later…. time for breakfast! and cafe shachor.

successful transitions

May 8, 2008

I was wondering how the transition to Yom Ha’Atzma’ut could be made. It was perfect. Raise the flags from half mast to the top, while lighting candles, lighting up a big “60” sign – reminds me of my camp days – singing beautiful songs – old and young together. A perfect transition.

 They really know how to do “tekes” (ceremony) on kibbutz. It’s all very moving, and done very well.

From the candle-lighting in the field near the cemetery yesterday, to the very symbolic raising of the flags yesterday to welcome in the festive chag, singing, dancing, eating (of course), more singing, dancing, and performances. Great to see so many of the kids, especially teens participate in rikudei am – folk dances. A true celebration. So glad I could be here!

the yom hazikaron/yom ha’atzma’ut continuum

May 7, 2008

I just came back from the most moving Yom Hazikaron ceremony I’ve ever attended. Here on Kibbutz Ein Harod, in a beautiful open area next to the kibbutz cemetery – overlooking the gorgeous Gilboa mountains in the south, and the kibbutz fields in the Jezreel valley. Beautifully designed and contructed monuments adorn this area, marking the soldiers who gave their lives, and there is also a memorial wall with names of holocaust victims who were relatives of members here. This kibbutz has lost its fair share (whatever that is) of soldiers to the various assorted wars. It’s incredibly sad. 

There are various Arab villages around here, and I understand that relations have been very good since 1948. I went for a walk this morning, up the hill behind the kibbutz. great views of the valley, the mountains, and the mountains to the north…. and all the surrounding villages. I may have been looking as far easy as Jordan – not sure.

I’m reminded how my friends here on kibbutz and in Israel are so willing to put themselves directly on the line for the country. It’s very different to sit across the ocean, obviously… in all my many years of living in Israel, I’d never attended the yom hazikaron/yom ha’atzma’ut somber to festive two-day ritual here on this kibbutz. It’s quite different than being in the city. Everyone participates, the setting is gorgeous, so many people here have a direct connection to the foundation of the state.

I haven’t yet moved from the somber to the festive – it’s great to be back after so many years, and experiencing new things here in Israel. And then of course there are the changes to kibbutz, which I’ve been hearing about here, and in Kibbutz Shamir in the north. Kibbutzim on the move…. that will await another blog entry.

some thoughts from Israel
chag sameach,