Monday, October 27, 2008

Israel Diary

This is from a diary I had written when I went to Israel with my grandparents the Pesach that I was in 12th grade. (They took turns taking each grandchild). It was my first time in Israel and I haven’t gone back again since then, but I do want to go again considering I didn’t get to see much of Israel. The diary was written in very short terms, so I’ll add on a bit to explain it.


Arrived 6:30 am, didn’t sleep

Went to the big shul [aka the Great Synagogue], saw mezuzos

Went to the plaza hotel lobby

Staying in the Meridian hotel


Meridian Hotel

[if you scroll up and down the page by the picture it has a cool optical illusion affect]

Ate a falafel

[the falafel’s there are great, for the first time I realized you can have other stuff in the falafel besides for falafel balls, and I got French fries and pickles, ever since then when I go to a pizza shop I order a falafel in that way!]

Saw cousins, aunt and uncle, very respectful.

On the plane watched: “rumor has it”, “Little Manhattan”, “fun with Dick and Jane

[it was funny sitting there on the plane watching these movies with my grandmother sitting right next to me. At first I thought she would tell me not to, but then I noticed she was watching the movies too, so then I didn’t feel uncomfortable. I also watched some Israeli music videos, and there was one that I really loved, but I don’t know what it’s called, but it had this yetzer tov and yetzer hora concept, good guy/bad guy, and there were some circus stuff involved and it was all very bright and colorful, and at one part there was even a dance on roller skates which I thought was very cool.]

Flight was from 1:00 pm- Monday- American time till 6:15 am Tuesday- Israeli time

Stewardess wear a lot of eye shadow

[it’s weird for me to notice that, but it just stuck out, I wonder if anyone else has noticed that?]

Saw grandmothers apartment

[she made alyah that summer, and is now living in Israel, I saw it before it was worked on, so it is very different now. I do remember finding the elevator there to be small old fashioned and weird, so I took the steps while my grandparents used the elevator]

Supper conversation by cousins about the Lubavicher Rebbe

[they’re not lubavich]

Saw pictures, from when 2 cousins went to Poland

[they each went separately on some tour, I heard it was very sad to go back and see it all]


A lot of nice flowers, palm trees and mountains

Stones on mountains looks like animals

[I noticed this as we kept driving by all these mountains, the stones are like white heaps in middle of the mountain so they look like animals, like sheep]

Burnt the chametz

burning the chometz

Hotel near Mediterranean ocean, view from window

Meridian Hotel with Mediteranian Ocean

Saw surfers practicing

First seder was beautiful, parents ask questions, children answer


Second seder- 50 people, spread out in 2 rooms- not good service, had to wait an hour till got food- oven broke, lights went out.

[ahh memories, it’s always the things go wrong that make it most memorable]


Went to a shiur, spoke about woman in Torah, that there are 2 levels: 1- Naaseh- lower level- learn to do Mitzvot, 2- Nishman- Learn for sake of learning. Woman learn lower level, but could become partners of upper level by sending husband to learn

Met a girl- read head, going to BJJ

[I thought I would remember the name of the girl to tell my classmates that were going to go to BJJ that this girl was going there]

Motzei Shabbos:

Played apples to apples with Uncle Benji and kids, had a lot of fun

[I love that game, haven’t played in so long, it was so much fun playing with them, I can still remember it.]

They’re a very entertaining family

[In other words, I had a really great time with them and they always made me laugh]


went to tour Acre (Aco), saw Turkish bathhouse, alcazar- cruel man

Acco ticket

crusades, made Acre capital

went through tunnels

Tunnel In Chaifa

saw shops

Acre- Jews and Arabs live together

[I actually read the brochure they gave out]

Went for walks by the water, nice weather


[funny how I wrote it rained right after I wrote it was nice weather, perhaps it started off nice and then rain]

Took pictures by water

[has people in them]

A lot of salads in Israel, they eat a lot

[the hotel had buffet style meals and I noticed there were always salads there, and everyone packed a lot on their plate]

Went bowling with Uncle Benji and family, had a lot of fun- lost got 20, Cousin Yoyo won.

Parking lot of Mall has colorful lights

Mall in Israel with Toys R' US

[I thought the parking lot was very colorful, usually it’s just lit up with regular light bulbs, I was shocked to see a Toys R’ Us there.]

Went to other building saw a magic show- took a few pictures

Meridian Hotel 2 buildings

[the other building is the other you see on the right side, it was used for the shul, eating and lobby. the building on the left was the one we slept in.]

Mime- doesn’t talk, acts things out, 3 men stood on mans stomach.

[see how I wrote down the definition so that I should remember, I find it so funny that I did that. I’m not sure if I wrote it down in case others might not know, or just for myself]

A lot of Russians, Russians came to Israel cause there is a law if Jewish then could come, then brought families, married non Jewish wives, so there are non Jewish Russians in Israel

[I had asked my aunt why there were so many people on Pesach at the beach in bathing suits, that I thought everyone was Jewish in Israel. So that is what she told me.]

There is one Gan- like public school, so goyim learn songs- Echad Mi Yodeah?

[I found it interesting that they were learning Jewish songs in a secular song, because it’s the state of Israel]

Had best supper, chicken cutlets, potatoes, meat cubes, pickles, brownies

[that was perfect, it’s like one in a million to get a good supper like that, usually it’s always dairy]


Went to Har HaKarmel, where Eliahu hanovi fought 450- Nivea Sheker, Nachal Kishon.


[don’t know when I used this, so just sticking it in here]

Saw Blacks talking Hebrew

[also saw Chinese people on a tour bus getting off to Tour Israel. I remember when we were walking through a place I saw the blacks who acted like goyim, so they weren’t Jewish but yet they talked Hebrew and I just wasn’t used to it, cause I always associated Hebrew with Jewish and didn’t realize it’s actually a language of a country]

Played UNO with Uncle Benji and kids, Harry potter cards.

[back then everyone was into Harry potter and Soduko]

Cousin Leora got Hebrew Harry Potter book

[It had just come out, I forgot which book it was, perhaps 5? She had it in Hebrew and English]

Cousin Chani wore black skirt with picture of Marilyn Monroe in white on it.

[I was surprised by the way she dressed, I had no clue my cousins were like this cause we barely ever saw them since they live in Israel. So when I saw her wearing a Marylyn Monroe skirt I thought it was interesting and at the same time cool. I also noticed she wore low cut down shirts and was surprised by that as well.]


Went go Carting- had a lot of fun

[It was my first time that I actually went in the go cart and drove, I was always afraid and made someone else sit with me and do the driving. But now I was on my own and I did it and had a good time, and after that I was no longer afraid to drive go carts! They also had a cool type where in the beginning there was an instructor that told you rules and all different things and then it was a race that was scored, I of course lost.]

Wore hats and helmets- Uncle Benji took pictures

[I came out horrible in the picture. For those that are my FB friend, you will see it’s a picture that I’m tagged in]


Pesach, took walk

[did a lot of walking by the beaches by the hotel]

Benji went back at night

[since they live in Israel and only keep 1 day. My grandparents had been going every year to Israel for Succos and Pesach since before my mother was married. Yet every year when they went they always kept 2 days. Now finally since their living there they keep 1 day. But I remember everyone was always asking them why their keeping 2. But it worked out for me, cause I wouldn’t want to have to be there all alone on the second day.]

slept with door to the porch open, got a lot of mosquito bites

hotel room

[that’s the bed I slept in, with the porch right outside, was such a shame that I got so many mosquito bites cause after that we went to the kotel and my face was all ruined. But thanx to photo editing software I was able to remove the red mosquito bites from my face]


Pesach, at night we went to Maaleh Adumim

Magen David Garden

[garden by my cousins house]


Went to the kotel, looks smaller then I thought it would be,

another kotel pic


Kotel View from Steps

Har Habais

bought myself a present


[it has all the small prayers in it, like brachos, shema, ani mamin, benching, krias shema al hamita, and some other ones and a few perakim of tehillim. Comes in very handy]

got a red bendle

[I actually had it on for so long, like at least a year after I got it]


With Uncle Benji and family, had a lot of fun

Went to shul, they daven with Israeli accent, sing a lot of stuff


Went to Lev Yerushalayim, went shopping by Mae Sharem and Geula,

got gifts for family

gift mug

gift brush and mirror

gift pen and siddur

[those are some of the gifts I bought. Also bought for my twin brother a wooden key chain that says #1 twin on it, I also got him a leather bookmark. Then I got my mother a silver necklace, and my father a siddur which he had asked for. I also got my parents a leather magnet that says something nice on it.]


Went on plane

Got Michal Negrin ring at airport, took a picture of the store.

Michal Negrin


Off the Derech said...

Great pictures.
Also, love falafel and apples to apples.

Leora said...

Great post. How long did it take you to put this together? Love the optical illusion building. Your comment about Akko is ironic, given recent history there. I was surprised to see Toys 'R Us on my recent trip, too.

Rachel said...

"I had asked my aunt why there were so many people on Pesach at the beach in bathing suits, that I thought everyone was Jewish in Israel." ... they could still be Jewish and on the beach on yom tov.

Looked like you had fun. Thanks for sharing. :)

Mikeinmidwood said...

Reminds me of when I was in Israel this past summer Its really a beutiful country and those Asian tourists you saw were probably Japanese they are big when it come to touring.

The Babysitter said...

Off the Derech: Thanx! yea, those are great.

Leora: Thanx! it actually did take a little while, perhaps 2 hours or more?

Thanx, also with the pictures in general, I used flickr to check it out I found the perfect pixel width was 400, and then it readjusted the height based on the ratio.

which Akko comment? about the Jews and Arabs living together? perhaps it was about back in the time like in history, or maybe it was the time of the tour, I don't remember.

Rachel: that's true, but I guess at that time I had a narrow view of what a Jew is.

Yea, it was fun and thanx and your welcome!

MikeInMidwood: yea, perhaps they were Japanese, I didn't take a close enough look. But yea that makes more sense.

Lion of Zion said...

nice post and pictures, although i didn't have time to read the whole thing.

my took each grandkid to israel for the summer a bar mitzva present. it was the best summer of my life.

"Acre- Jews and Arabs live together"

not as of this past yom kippur

"[I had asked my aunt why there were so many people on Pesach at the beach in bathing suits, that I thought everyone was Jewish in Israel. So that is what she told me.]"

people went to the beach on pesach even before the russians. most israelis are not religious (at least not in a conventional orthodox sense). it has nothing to do with the non-jewish russians (although that doesn't help)

"[I found it interesting that they were learning Jewish songs in a secular song, because it’s the state of Israel]"

it's not 100% black and white (no pun intended). there are a lot of religous elements even in the secular state. for example, i listen to israeli radion a lot over the internet because i like israeli music. it's not a religious station, yet every morning they receite the first paragraph of shem over the radio and they also counted sefirah every night.

The Babysitter said...

Lion Of Zion: Thanx!

right, so back then I had a very narrow view, I either viewed a person as Jewish or not. I hadn't realized that there are irreligious Jews.

I realized I meant to say that they learned Jewish songs in a secular school.

So it's very interesting that they do all these religious stuff like that, it sounds nice.

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