Buying the newest copy of Harry Potter is just not the same in Israel. In America, the book stores were buzzing with customers chatting to each other on long lines… Everyone was filled with delicious, fluffy hype, the kind that I guess is only available in the capitalist of capitalist societies.
The two book stores I entered in the Jerusalem mall hosted minimal lines, though Steimatsky did have a section in the back set up with a clerk dressed in a witch’s hat giving me my copy.
Granted, the Hebrew version of the book doesn’t come out until December; I watched a dismayed teenager learn this news at Tzomat Sfraim, the second book store.
Then I was the first on the bus leaving from the mall. See, on a Saturday night, Harry Potter release or not, everyone is definitely going to the mall, not from it to begin zealous reading.
As I got on, the bus driver knowingly smiled.
Driver: “I know what’s in those bags.”
Me: “Ha… Definitely.”
Driver: “I don’t get it. What’s the big deal about a book?”
Me: “Well… Look at it this way: The author is now a billionaire… Something’s gotta be right about them.”
Driver: “Yeah, the author’s a billionaire… So what? What’s so great about the books?”
Me: “It’s… fantasy…”
Driver: “Fantasy. So what?”
Me: “Everyone needs a little fantasy… Don’t you think?”
Heat’s on the rise, and it can mean a few things, but one in particular that I’m excited about: my homemade lazy lemonana. How to, you ask? It’s very simple. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t do it (read the recipe title again).
1. Grow nana (mint) plants in your windowsill. Since this is the lazy lemonana, your husband has already done that for you.
2. Acquire lemonade flavored Crystal Light. Since this is the lazy lemonana, your mother sends you dozens of packets whenever she can.
3. Pour some Crystal Light into a pitcher.
4. Pour some cold water into the same pitcher.
5. Break off a bit of nana, wash it and bend the stem at different points.
6. Put the nana into the pitcher.
9. Go back to being lazy.
Scene: Me at the counter of our makolet, buying two red peppers and a bag of milk.
Kippah-less makolet guy: “Do you want a separate bag for this?”
Uncovered-hair Me: “Nah.”
Kippah-less makolet guy: “Just asking because if you were cooking the peppers with meat, you might care…”
Dissolve the Rabbanut, don’t dissolve the Rabbanut… If we want to be observant Jews, we’ll be observant Jews, whether they force us to be or not.
Why did I move to the “Holy Land,” seeking Jewish freedom, if what that means is that a Harry Potter book release party is still going to take place on a Friday night and I can’t even use Shabbat day to read it?
In other news, I did place an order for my very own copy at Steimatzky… Come the end of Shabbat next week, I had straight to the mall and do not resurface in public until I know who lives and who dies. That’ll probably be Sunday morning. I’m like that.
Join Standing Together Wednesday July 18th
We will be visiting Sderot, viewing the damage, supporting the shops and meeting the children and adults who remain in this forsaken city.
Tour the city and see damage cause by rockets,
Shop in Sderot stores to help the shopkeepers remain open,
Eat lunch at the Yeshivat Hesder Sderot and see what they are doing to help,
Distribute treats to children in camps and adults trying to hold on to what little they have.
Bus leaves Jerusalem at 9AM; will return approximately 3PM
75 shekel includes lunch and transportation
With enough participants we can also add bus stops in
Bet Shemesh and/or Gush Etzion
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations
Not in ISRAEL? You Can Still Participate!
Sponsor the treats we are distributing to the Sderot Residents.
Email us to deliver.
Click for more ideas of how to help
It’s one of the first things you learn when entering into Israeli drinking culture: Israelis have the chaser all wrong.
A chaser is something you swallow after you’ve just ingested a stronger drink. That means, if you’ve just had a tequila, a lemon is a complement of a chaser. If you’ve downed a whiskey (and you’re amateur) beer might be a good chaser. If you’ve knocked back cheap vodka, anything that isn’t cheap vodka would be a great option for a chaser.
However, Israelis must have misunderstood when the drinking fairy came to town. Because, to Israeli bars, a chaser is a shot of the stronger liquor. A package deal at an Israeli bar is getting a half-liter of beer (strong?) with a chaser of… whiskey.
On Thursday night I was out with two guys who both ordered the package deal and who both downed the ‘chaser’ first, as it was meant to be. We subsequently wondered if the Israeli waitress thought they were backwards.
Then, today, I see this ad in the paper (notice the last line at the bottom):
Aye, Dublin; you do not live up to your name. Who EVER needs to chase a Guinness???
They may want to hang this reminder behind the bar:
Beer before liquor,
never been sicker.
Liquor before beer,
you’re in the clear.
Calling all Israeli cell phone users (or, all Israelis, as it were): Magen David Adom, Israel’s Health Ministry, cell phone companies and others have come together to launch a pretty clever initiative.
Mark someone in your cell phone as your emergency contact, knowledgeable in your medical history, so doctors and paramedics can speedily work you out.
This person should be listed in your phone as follows:
I wonder how many Israelis will take this seriously. If you want to, see the ad below for more: