Thanksgiving in Israel, ceasefire edition.

I just OWNED my Americanness at our local Mister Zol.

Usually my Australian huz deals with the turkey ordering and picking up. Blasphemy, I know. I’ve been passive about it because I always felt silly ordering a whole turkey at a chicken counter in Israel.

So when I approached the counter, my language evolved from ‘um, so, we ordered a turkey?’ to, ‘oh yes, it’s simple, I just put it in the oven, after I add a bunch of spices and herbs, olive oil…’

The boy behind the butcher counter dumped the bird between us and gave me a startled look – ma’am, this? – and I smiled and responded, “קטע של אמרקאיים”

As the poor guy comically stuffed the turkey into several plastic bags, a mother approached with her two kids. “What is that?”

“It’s a whole turkey.”

“Oh! I thought it was a giant chicken!”

“Well, it is a giant chicken…”

“Kids, look – that’s a whole turkey!” Then she remembered – “Oh, it’s that holiday – Thanksgiving?”

Not to worry American Anglos of Israel! We’ll make headway yet!

As I strapped my turkey into the passenger seat (yes), I started laughing out loud.

Whole turkeys. Native holidays. Foreign holidays. Rockets. Sirens. Ceasefires. More sirens. Egyptian presidents. Hillary Clinton’s hair.

Needless to say, there’s a lot going through my mind when it comes to being thankful this weekend. Not to get political – no one here is happy politically – but putting aside what should or shouldn’t or can or couldn’t be done about our epic neighborhood problem, Israelis across the country are breathing a tiny, silent sigh of relief: Our brothers, husbands, sons, fathers, bosses, and classmates are not going to war this weekend.

I’m grateful for laughter that keeps us sane, keeps us glowing, creeps up even while the sirens are going off, even if those sirens go off every 10 minutes, even if that siren is my son, who does a perfect siren imitation after only hearing it twice.

I’m grateful for tears that begin to slide down cheeks, to cleanse us as some of the pain begins to fade in the coming weeks… if we really have weeks to spare.

I’m grateful that, hopefully, my brother is granted the weekend off-base, after an impossibly long week of serving his country within ridiculously unspeakably close range of enemy rockets and mortar.

I’m grateful that there are places in this world where children only know peace.

And I’m hopeful those children also, and always, know gratitude.







9 responses to “Thanksgiving in Israel, ceasefire edition.”

  1. susie Avatar

    yes, what is going on with her hair.
    much for which to be grateful this year. sidestepping a ground war, for one.
    ps. I linked to you in my post today…

    1. Liz Avatar

      amen re: hair. re: war.
      p.p.s. just checked it out!

  2. shoshuga Avatar

    Love. My seven-year-old was reading over my shoulder. His favorite new game is, “Whoever speaks in English first is the loser.” I wish I hadn’t lost my phone this week, because he just performed the chicken conversation in Hebrew. It was hilarious.

    1. Liz Avatar

      Oooh new audience potential, 7-year-olds! Thanks. The chicken conversation is definitely better in its original Hebrew… and with the woman’s facial expressions ;)

      1. shoshuga Avatar

        There is no more judgmental facial expression than an Israeli woman’s face. I can feel it from thousands of miles away when my mother judges. Although, my son’s afternoon teacher is very cranky, so his hand movements and accent are pretty spot-on.

  3. Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) Avatar

    I need to find out what your Hebrew means, but I loved the rest of it. :) I wish you a peaceful Thanksgiving and safety to you and yours, most especially your brother.

    1. Liz Avatar

      Thank you so much! The Hebrew is kinda like saying in English, ‘It’s an American thing.’ The transliteration would be ‘keta shel Americaiyim.’

      I usually write out Hebrew convos in English (like the other one) but once in a while I throw it in there – next time I should include a translation at the bottom so thanks for the idea! Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Aliza @ The Worthington Post Avatar

    Loved this. So glad you and yours are safe, Liz! The only country other than America in which I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving was England. With a few other American friends. Needless to say, Thanksgiving is not *ahem* BIG in London, either. :-) Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Ceasefire!!! xoxo

  5. Yosef - This American Bite Avatar

    After the last comment I left, I am pleased you Thanksgiving’ed it up this year. Love the pic of the turkey.

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