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.


Tzur Hadassah has a supermarket (deep breaths).

Well, now we’re really in the big time. Sure, they just broke ground for a high school (I think) but today Tzur Hadassah celebrated a special milestone in a small town’s life: our very own supermarket’s grand opening. Including three-shekel hamburgers.

We woke up this morning to festive red balloons tied to every other car… (it was like waking up to snow!!!! Only not.)

Mister Zol is the first of three or four small shops to occupy an itsy bitsy shopping ‘center’ on Rechasim street, the spine of Tzur Hadassah’s newer neighborhood. It sits across from the medical clinic and mail pickup, which makes things a little complicated on a relatively narrow main street. I can’t believe I typed that last sentence.

The crowds piled up for the afternoon festivities, which somewhere included a clown, a market full of food items for sale, and, man, you’d think they were cooking up three-shekel hamburgers out there!

I’ve definitely never seen anywhere in Tzur Hadassah that crowded. Let’s hope the parking situation gets better, starting right after this shindig ended…

I think we, as a town, need some new social events.

Look who's moving to Tzur Hadassah.

Somewhere deep inside, I knew this day would come.

Tzur Hadassah is getting a ‘commercial center’ – which is basically a supermarket and an ATM – on Rechasim street.

I am not for this in any way, but I suppose my opinion isn’t worth much since I moved here two years ago and I don’t own property. But still. It’s unnecessary. We have a big-enough rip-off makolet and supermarkets all around us in Beitar Illit, Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem. I don’t see the sense in destroying trees and neighborhood peace to create an overpriced Mister Zol.

The worst part is, they decided to do it on a peripheral, dead end street. I don’t get that. If they want to build a community center eventually, and there is already a school in the middle of the horseshoe that is the yishuv’s layout, why not make everything commercial in the center, too? Why disrupt  peripheral residents with a supermarket?

It’s only going to get worse; the ‘nature preserve’ across from my building is slated for construction as well (housing, though).

Maybe it’s time to look for a new small yishuv?

I took these photos less than a week ago and the building has already progressed significantly: