Ki Yachol Nuchal!

New olah; mom and wife. In small ways, every day, trying to rectify the error in judgement of my zaydies, the meraglim. "See these big grapes? We can make really big wine!"

Archive for the ‘Gush Katif’ Category

A heartfelt plea from an exhausted mother

Posted by rutimizrachi on 19/06/2009

Yom shishi, 27 Sivan 5769.

Okay, gang.

I’m calling in any markers I have.  This is serious.

The Sports Guy (pictured below with his beloved Rav from the Old Country) is down to his very last Gush Katif kipah.

As the mother of any teenangel knows, when they get an idée fixe, nothing will get them off of it.  (Maybe they’ll outgrow it; but I wouldn’t bank a good night’s sleep in the near future on that.)

As you can see, the kid is cute, but the kipah is looking just a little bit ratty.  It’s time for a change.

“Let’s go shopping for a few different kipot!”  I said cheerfully.

“No thanks, Ema.  I like this one.”  This response is delivered sweetly.  No teen “‘tude.”  Who can complain?

The truth is that I started scouring all of the kipah shops in the country as soon as he was down to only one left, because I remember how he was about giving up certain “comfort toys” as a little kid.  But I have not been able to find a single Gush Katif kipah  (large size, not the little knit doilies — he doesn’t like those either) anywhere in Israel.

“Here, Honey.  Here is a kipah your brother gave you, from the IDF.  Won’t that be a nice occasional substitute, just so I can wash the other one now and then?”

“Sure, Ema.  But just until you’re done washing it.  Thanks!”  No soap, pardon the pun.

Now I get a little Ema-‘tude on.  “Okay, young man.  It is very nice that you are comfortable with your ‘look.’  I’ve always been proud of you that you kept your peyot when some of the kids your age were making fun of you, and trying to get you to cut them.  I like that you wear the kipah you like, even if it isn’t like everyone else’s.  (Besides, I can always find you in a crowd.)  But it’s getting beat-looking.  Couldn’t we shop for another nice, big, orange kipah?”

Now he looks a little thoughtful.  And my fourteen-year-old gives me a lesson in purpose, and in dedication.

“Ema, it’s not about the orange, or that it’s kipah serugah.  I don’t want to stop wearing it until we get it back.”

So here’s my request:  Somewhere in Israel, or in America, there is a Gush Katif kipah not unlike the one my young hero currently wears.  I really need a replacement, folks.  If you happen to have a spare one lying about, let me know.

The future peace at Chez Mizrachi may depend on it.

Thanks for listening.  And may Sports Guy’s determination pay off.  May we share the good news of the rebuilt Gush Katif, speedily and in our days.

Glossary:
Gush Katif:  a group of Jewish communities begun over 40 years ago on the empty sand dunes of Gaza.   In those days, the Arabs welcomed the Jews there, wondering why they would want to build homes on such “godforsaken land.”  Four years ago, these beautiful communities were destroyed, and the land upon which they were built was made Judenrein.
Peyot:  the long (or short) sidelocks worn by many Torah-observant Jews
Kipah serugah:  a knitted kipah — in Israel, very symbolic politically

Posted in Gush Katif, kipah serugah | 10 Comments »

Sunday Sojourn #1

Posted by rutimizrachi on 17/11/2008

Yom sheni, 19 Cheshvan 5769.

In 1991, the Dearly Beloved took me to Israel for the first time.

He wanted to show me all of the tourist sites that he remembered from his visits in the ’80s.  But I already had the seeds of aliyah sprouting in my soul; and I told him I wanted to spend our time experiencing the life of the residents.  He’s an understanding fellow; so, instead of showing me Masada, he let me drag him to the makolet.  Instead of visiting the banks of the Yarden, we were sent from teller to teller in the banks of Yerushalayim.  We visited families, and listened to them talk about what real life in Israel was like.  It was just as beaurocratically ridiculous as everyone said.  It seemed like an interesting challenge.  When we got back to the States, I told my husband that I would take the time to be a tourist when I lived in Israel. 

Over Shabbat last week, the Dearly Beloved informed me that it was time to make good on my 17-year-old promise.  And that Sundays would be “tiyul day” for the two of us.  After all, the kids get to go on tiyulim through their schools.  It’s not our fault we’re too long in the tooth for yeshiva.  And now we have these special bus passes for olim, that allow us to travel anywhere in the country (except Eilat) for a very reasonable price.  Why not use them?

The first stop was a visit to one of our favorite bakeries, very near the tachana.  The pastry is as good as is pastry everywhere in Israel.  What makes this bakery special is Amir, who makes a great cup of cafe shachor, and treats everyone like a mentch.  (Throughout my marriage to the Dearly Beloved, the guy who gets our money isn’t always the cheapest.  He is good at what he does, and treats us the way he would like to be treated.)


After that pleasant visit, we added another photo to our catalog of the “Most Exhaustive Photo Essay of Every Possible Angle of the ‘Bridge of Strings'”.  This project has picked up a more feverish pace since the new mayor-elect, Nir Barkat, has expressed his desire to tear the thing down.

In 2005, I sat at my computer and watched, day after day, as the soap opera that would become the nightmare of Gush Katif unfolded.  It was a surrealistic time; and the only people with whom I could relate on the subject lived in Cyberspace.  More accurately, they lived all over the world; but we shared the need to “live” the Gush Katif drama at a depth most people around us couldn’t seem to fathom.  So we became an internet support group, holding virtual hands throughout the trauma.  The Gush Katif Museum is tucked into Agrippas Street.  We discovered it quite by accident.  It is a stop we would recommend for every tourist.  We expected a small museum, filled with facts and photos.  There were those.  The time line makes it painfully obvious that Israel has built herself, only to tear herself down at the world’s insistence, many, many times.  My favorite photos were of children.  One was holding orange ribbons in each hand, stretched out to invisible hands outside the left and right frames of the photo.  Another shows rows and rows of young soldiers.  In the foreground, his back to us, is a tiny boy, offering a few cookies to the tenderly smiling soldiers in his chubby hand. We did not expect the poignant paintings, full of the intensity of the youth who stood their ground.  Nor did we expect to spend an hour sitting together and crying.  Whichever side of the argument you fell out on, you will find that the film is a fair representation of the good and bad on both sides of the struggle, and of some of the pain each side endured. I don’t usually suggest that people take time to be sad…  but there is a time for everything, as the wise king said.  And there are, unfortunately, more events in Jewish life to which the expression “never again” must be appended, and repeated to ourselves, in full video sound and fury.

Well, after that, a little fun was certainly called for.  We stopped into Emek Refaim at one of our favorite restaurants.

  After I seasoned both our dishes of Temani Meat Soup with a little charif, the Dearly Beloved said that he would prefer to handle this task for himself in the future.

 
Look.  My main job in this climate is to get a lot of water into each member of my family every day.  You can see, by the empty water bottle at his right, that I was very successful.  
Next week:  Tel Aviv, and the quest for the wily Dancing Camel pub. Stay tuned.

Posted in aliyah, Gush Katif, Jerusalem | 3 Comments »