Backstage Travels

All the world's a stage…

Israel Day 2: Arrival in the Jewish State

on January 7, 2014

I think I saw about 2 hours of sun on the whole trip over to Israel. When we landed, it was about 6 pm because of the delay in our flight. We were all so exhausted from the travel, and we pretty much went straight to the hostel.

I’ll admit that I didn’t take very many pictures that day. I’m not sure that anyone did. None of us knew each other that well yet, and as I said, we were all so tired.

On the bus there, we met our tour guide, Shira, and our military escort, Ziv. Both are pretty badass people. While we were driving toward the hostel, Shira told us a story about how we should view Israel.

She said that a few years back there were wildfires in Israel. People were being evacuated from their homes, and she was eventually evacuated from her kibbutz. She watched the news everyday, like most people did, and one day she recognized where the camera crew was: her kibbutz. Everything on camera was razed. It panned over wasted and burnt landscape. She said that she was in shock, but eventually came to terms with the fact that she had no house, nothing. She was safe, and could buy new clothes. The news continued to show the same footage over and over, and Shira saw something on the edge of the screen, right before it cut back to the newscasters…a leaf! A green leaf! Why won’t they show that, she wondered, why won’t they show the green? She kept watching, hoping they’d pan the camera just a little bit further, so she could see the green.
Finally, the fires were contained and the people were allowed back to their villages. When Shira got to hers, she saw that only 10% of the village had burned. Her house was fine. Most of the houses were. She saw that the “green” was a lot more than the burned wasteland.

This is how we were supposed to look at Israel. Not as the wasteland the TV shows, with the wars and fighting and such, but what else it is. Tel Aviv has thriving technology and businesses. Jerusalem has the three major religions living there in…well, they’re cordial, if not exactly bosom buddies. The landscape is beautiful. And the cats! Holy goodness, the Israeli cats…

So, we get to the hostel. Most of us do not know a word of Hebrew save “Shalom” at this point (exaggeration…but only just), and we don’t know where to go. We were pointed in a direction on an elevator somewhere, but when we got to the approximate location of the finger-pointing, we were met with a large crowd.

And that’s how we crashed the wedding.

Well, the reception, really. We turned back, only to have Ziv (resident co-badass) walk us right through to the elevator, a mere 2 meters from where we ran in to all those people.

We all got assigned rooms and settled in and then…jetlag set in. For me at least. I slept an hour, and then was up till about 4am local time.

Browndoggy slept though…


One response to “Israel Day 2: Arrival in the Jewish State

  1. David Baron says:

    The same jet lag hit me when I was 15 and my family moved to Jerusalem.

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