Friday 16 April 2010

Reflections on the Holy Land

I was recently in Tel Aviv with my mom. Here are some thoughts from that special place in the desert.

First of all, the orthodox Jews are taking over in Israel - they have about 6 to 8 kids per family. And regular families have one or two kids. One could project and conclude that in the near future the frummers will eventually be in the majority. This brings with it a big challenge: what happens to the labour force?

I was in Israel with my family over 30 years ago. My mom was telling me, that when she brought me and my brother Alon to Israel all those years ago, that we stood out. When we were proper lighties everyone noticed us, according to my mom. She was telling me that because we said things like "Please can I have an ice cream" and "Thank you" that people could tell we were foreigners. Apparently we were labeled the "please and thank you" kids.

And then there is something from my visit in 1999, when I went with a friend to Svat. I was telling my mom the story, when we were together now, and it captured the spirit and vibe of this special part of the world. So, in 1999 a friend of mine and I were in Svat and we visited a candle shop there and this is how the conversation (translated) went. "How is life treating you?" "Thank God" "How is business?" "Thank God" "How is your family?" "Thank God" Every question I asked was answered in the positive with "Thank God". And then, the friend I was with said "We should get going soon." And I responded with "Thank God". Everyone packed up laughing.

My recent visit to Israel really blew my mind. What a miracle story! Inspiring and full of soul. I loved it and plan to visit there more often in future.

One other thing I really noticed now in Tel Aviv were the kids - they are everywhere, day and night. During a lovely Saturday evening, on a vibey boulevard, the restaurants were full of parents and their kids were outside playing and running around and making noise and just living, without a worry in the world. Carefree and energized - it was good to see. This is how it should be!

On that note, good shabbos to everyone.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker