Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pesach - Only in Israel

Pesach was really nice this year. The seder was nice and we were able to fit in a nice balance of seeing friends and touring. I used my flexible schedule to almost get in a full work week. Jerusalem, Hevron, Kiryat Sefer (Modiin Illit). We had a great time even if it was a schedule that would offend the White House.

Here are a list of things that happened that can only be referred to as only in Israel moments.

KLP Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Buying hot KLP food from restaurants or local food vendor.

Cotton Candy everywhere you turn. You know the kashrut status because there is only one brand of plain white sugar in this country.

(Not so) Hurva Shul - People were trying to get in to have a look. An old security guard came outside to yell at people to tell them it was closed. In the mean time people were walking in behind him, until they put up a physical gate to block the ramp.

Mincha at the Kotel - Chanasat Sefer Torah with a 2 piece band. The band stopped so we could say kedusha uninterrupted. A short time later they pumped up the Kotel sound system. (They played what I call the Hasilenu Song - no idea who sings it or what it is called)

Walking down to the Kotel in the evening and hearing the Windows start up chimes from the Kotel sound system.

Restaurants on the road between the Arova and Kotel were open. Burgers Bar - selling drinks and Kippot, Pizza Shop - selling soft ice cream and chips (French fries), Bonkers - selling packaged ice cream and scarves.

Hevron - 3 buses- 2 pick up/ drop off locations, 2 drop off times - buses had to be boarded based on expected return time. Planning #fail

Praying at Marat HaMachpela in the Yitzchak and Rifka Room (only open to Jews 10 days a year).

In the make shift market in Hevron, I asked the vendor about the Kashrut of the lemonade. She told me she made it at home from lemons.

RBS B Post Office - sign from the post office and the police saying it was closed all of Pesach for safety reasons.

One Seder - Never that moment of "Oh no, we have to do this again tomorrow night"

Chametz in all the stores is covered. It is illegal to sell Chametz publicly over Pesach, athough there are some interesting definitions of public for this law.

Rice and other Kitniyot products are everywhere and kept with the regular KLP products. In Hevron they were selling pop corn.

Rachel made a comment that it didn't really feel like Pesach this year. I answered that it was because the Chagim are so integrated to the way of life that they don't seem out of place. It is really special celebrating the Chagim as they were always meant to be celebrated. Ok, minus the super huge giant BBQ, but that we will have again one day.

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