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.


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