Jewish Journal

The Good, The Bad, and The Chag

by Julie Shuer

April 6, 2013 | 8:33 am

Photo by Lilach Daniel/Wikipedia.

The Good, the Bad, and the Chag

HaTov (the good)
Back in Tel Aviv once again, in a lovely rented flat in the Basel neighborhood where we are in the process of purchasing a small apartment. The first order of business after Steve’s arrival is to show him our apartment to be, which I had found on my last stay. Pleased as he is, he knows that, this being Israel, there are, of course, complications. We are buying the apartment from a person who has a conservator and, as a result, the process moves at a glacier’s pace through the court system and our documents are gathering dust on the desk of a family court judge. Most marriages feature divisions of labor and ours is no different. Steve is in charge of sports and documents. I handle everything else. So it falls to him to meet with Yair, our charming and competent real estate lawyer. Yair assures Steve that things are progressing and that we should consider paying the owners a minimal “rent” so that we can start the renovations. We desperately want the apartment ready by July when we return for Steve to compete as a member of the United States Maccabiah Tennis team (I’m SSSOOOO proud). But should we start renovations before the apartment is officially ours? A nice kind of dilemma.

HaRah (the bad): a series of misadventures
Flash back to Purim.  Benji calls us in Los Angeles to tell us that he is in the emergency room in Tel Aviv with a suspected appendicitis.  The test results are inconclusive and he is sent home. But soon after, he calls again to tell us that he is about to undergo an emergency appendectomy. Oy! But the Israeli medical system functions perfectly and thankfully, Benji is fine.

Flash forward to my third evening back in the holy land. I am at dinner with Benji and his good friend, Adi Davis (no relation).  My wallet is somehow stolen from an inner pocket of my bag which lies tight across my body. I am impressed by how professional some Israeli thieves are. Annoyed, but impressed. Who’d a thunk? Since Steve is minister of documents, the incident is duly reported to him and he quickly restores my credit cards, but not my California driver’s license, nor the 40 shekels in cash, nor my beautiful Anne Fontaine wallet.

And finally, like something out of an old sit-com - one morning my wonderful, adoring (and amorous) husband thinks he might get lucky by breaking the bedroom door handle and inadvertently locks us in the bedroom. A bit claustrophobic, I notice that not only can we not use the door, but the iron grate on the only window is padlocked. I consider calling my daughter, Gaby, who has a key to the front door of the flat but remember that most Israeli apartments require a key to lock them from the inside and that most Israeli’s leave the key in the lock on the inside making it impossible to insert a key from the outside to open the door. Fortunately, I am able to reach our very good-natured landlady who sends over a locksmith immediately. Needless to say, the situation is hardly conducive (at least to me) for romance!

HaChag (the holiday)

A rousing Pesach Seder with our long lost, of no relation, Davis cousins of Kokhav Ya’ir. Wouldn’t you know that both of our families sing the same goofy American parodies of the four sons?  A week of family, good friends and amazing food - now that we eat kitniyot!.  Benji and I spent the end of the chag with his former family at Kibbutz Sa’ad.  While driving there, I told him that I had a small gift for Safri, the mother of 7 and an amazing Yemini cook despite her Ashkenazi upbringing.  The gift for the kitchen was none other than a silicone pot cover which Benji thought was a dumb idea.  We walked into their home to the incredible smell of rice and Yemini chicken soup just as someone laments that the cover to the pot has just broken! In Israel, there are no coincidences, only miracles.

Next year in Tel Aviv (and also Jerusalem).

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I am a wife, eema, retired occupational therapist, dog lover, yoga practioner, daily swimmer, book club participant, foodie and cook, ardent zionist and a persistant student of...

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