Saturday, November 7, 2015

This Teardrop of Land

Sleeping on air.

I'm pretty sure one of these is coffee.

I've been in Israel for a couple of months. I find myself thinking things like, "Good, it's raining, I can take a walk, maybe there won't be as many stabbers out." Stories circulate of miracle rescues - archangels get personal here. It makes sense to crave a reborn world and your own personal messiah if you feel like your life's being threatened. When you look you can see Jesuses everywhere. And Mohammeds. And Isaacs.

Some Israelis seem impervious to the stress, but others show the strain. I've seen people on buses talking loudly to themselves (without cellphones), people in couples declaring their love for each other on a constant basis. Others quite aggressively seek zipless f*cks. In an ironic display of unity, plenty of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and Bahai are on anti-depressants. These are ordinary people, very nice, who aren't causing anyone problems. They just want to live in peace. I think that's what most people want, here just like anywhere else.

Many tiny Israeli shops make a living selling comfort foods: phyllo-crust pastries, chocolate, candy, liquor, chips, nuts, pasta and soup. I came to Israel to make my own phyllo-crust dreams come true. But I also came because that's the path that opened before me, obvious as the parting of the Red Sea. I finished writing my first novel here, and became fascinated by the idea of a metaphysical rite d' passage. The metaphysical imprint in Israel goes deep.

The ghosts are everywhere.The living struggle to survive. My clothes dryer is made of string. My stair-master is stairs. I still sleep pretty close to the floor. In the photo above, I'm sure one of those things is supposed to be coffee, but when you taste it, it's hard to tell.

I'm making jokes. The reality is that what doesn't kill us makes us strong... even though, at the same time, that sh*t can hurt.

Sometimes I'm unafraid, but at other times I'm scared to be living in Israel, where there can be several attacks a day: Jewish people knifed by Arabs, or Jewish pedestrians intentionally run over by Arab-driven cars. Arabs who seem threatening, or who have killing instruments in their hands, are shot dead by Jews just as quickly as possible.

If all the people talking about this teardrop of land can't learn to respect each other's right to exist, there's no hope for humanity.

The propaganda mills continue to churn. Zombies who believe their nonsense continue to attack. The hatred from the neighbors from hell makes each moment harder, and also more precious.

Rick Neeley I admire you more than you will ever know. It's a very brave thing to give up all that is familiar and follow a stirring that God has placed deep within you.
Ofra Shabtay-lionov Yes, this sums it pretty much perfectly ): 'harder and more precious...
Pamela Young Martin Truly my prayers are with Israel and the Jewish people every day. I can't imagine living amongst people who actually believe their 'god' will reward them if they kill you. The world is becoming more insane every day. I read everything going on and I literally have to stop, pray, and remind myself that G-d DOES have this and EVERYONE will know it soon. Stay strong, my friend.
Dan Tadmor Do not tune into the broadcasts of liars and fear-mongers, even if they are state-sponsored liars. I listen to Kol Hamusica FM. They do not lie. When they tell you it's Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, it's the Fifth and not the Sixth. And if you read the C...See More
Deb Dahbour Spot on Dan
Dan Tadmor Sequel (please excuse my doggedness) - what complicated matters was that all Israelis were reported together as "Israeli civilians hurt by hostile acts" - without mentioning whether they lived in Israel, as 97% did then, or in settlements, as did 3%. W...See More
Sari Friedman
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Natalie Moore What a poignant description of life in Israel. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Sari. Xo
Wendell H Davis Something you can't get from CNN. Thanks for sharing. I would love to share this?
Sari Friedman Please do share this! I'd love that. Thanks.
Sari Friedman
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Sandra Tyler You're amazing:) xo
Shirley Dratler Hepner Of course those are all bags/jars of coffee. Obviously instant in the middle with turkish coffee in the red bag and it is boiled. on the left (assuming it's the one with beans) it is made like regular coffee - either in a machine or in a coffee press...See More
Sari Friedman I'm starting to get into these Israeli coffees, but I'm used to California's coffees: all those organic brands, fresh as morning, and lactose-free organic milk and etc.
Shirley Dratler Hepner You can get organic here. At least in Netanya. And remember to only drink pasteurized milk so you don't get sick .Also people drink soya "milk" here all the time. For 5 NIS go into Cofix and get hafooch with soya. (cappuccino). And there is an organic market where you can get organic coffee.
Sari Friedman
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Michael Huntley "Zombies". Well said.
Anne Levine send me a bag of that Elite Turki!
Anne Levine After my first year in Israel I was addicted to Elite "nes". I didn't think there was anything to compare. It was all I drank for years except for the occasional Turki that I made in a finjan. A couple years ago a friend brought me a can of nes as a gift. The most disgusting swill ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But don't touch my Bamba....
Anne Levine Or my Ptitim for that matter.... and don't get me started on bourekas.
Sari Friedman
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Glen Greenberg Great post -Stay as cool as you can !
Karen Leslie No wonder you are a writer! But Sari please stay safe!
Maria Stiltz Yes, your can express your feeling eloquently in the harsh environment your are in . I am so sorry for all the people that live there. I just pray for Peace!!
Maria Stiltz Come back I miss you..
Sari Friedman
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Arbel Shemesh Sari, I just moved to Zichron Yaakov, it is great here! I am ordering organic Vegis that are better then in Berkeley, I feel like the food is finally tasting like food. When we get our guest room together maybe you can come check it out, awesome little town!
Sari Friedman I'd love to wink emoticon
Deborah Ozair Sari Friedman I am in Zichron..its great and wonderful, calm and enjoyable..this is my Israel..
Sari Friedman
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Lynne Tania Wener Stay safe. Shabbat Shalom
Mimi Davidson I will hold you in my prayers, if you need anything from the stated
Mimi Davidson I guess my Ipad got jumpy, if I can be of any help please message me, if there is anything I can mail you that would cheer you up or make your life more comfortable I will happily send it to you. I admire your courage to start a néw life. So happy f...See More
Sari Friedman Mimi I find your words very comforting, thank you. I wish for talented leadership too, on both sides, now and forever. The Martin Luther King Jr.s of this world are in short supply.
Sari Friedman
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Eileen Malone stay safe, brave soul
Ziporah Horv Stay safe Sari, I think of you often!
Ben Cowan Sari, surely you can get fresh roasted beans? Arabic beans? Ah, your sharing is a delight. There is no NEWS anymore. Just propaganda. Maybe you can start a NEWS station? Your posts are so real. May HaShem be with you and all Israel.
Sari Friedman Ben Cowan yes yes yes the roasted nuts and beans are delicious! Also, thanks😌
Sari Friedman
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Ric Lobosco I admit to being anxious about you moving there. But I trust all is in Divine Order, & send Love & Light your way each time I see your posts. You are following YOUR path, so all is right in your world.
My prayer for you is to find inner peace, inspiration & joy each day. My prayer for the Middle East is much the same.
Irving Berkowitz Sari, Yevorechicha Hasem Verishmerech (May God bless and protect you) my friend.
Steve Huffman I feel I'm wasting my life after reading all you're doing.
Sari Friedman Steve Huffman well that's interesting, because whenever I read your witty poignant posts about your life and love with Meg I fill with admiration for you and longing for a life like yours.
Sari Friedman
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Steven Sullivan A teardrop of land....yes.
Hans York Sari, thank you. You conversation helps articulate what I experience. Shout out your joy, watch your back.
Ziv Knobler Sari, as a new comer I can understand the way you feel and how stressful it can be. I am pretty sure If you'd ask Michael about that he will react in something like "What are you talking about Mom ? we're fine" .. I guess it is a matter of personality ...See More
Marissa Moss I've been thinking about you, hoping you're doing okay. What a time to make aliyah!
Walter Renn Sari, are you involved in the Israeli Peace Movement? Activism might help the sense of passive fear.
Sari Friedman I'm involved in peace movements wherever I am. Big fan of peace. I don't want to stop feeling fear, though; in physical terms it's
appropriate, and it helps me to make better decisions. Or so I hope.
Sari Friedman
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Marian Paroo I've been here for 40+ years. This isn't my first Intifada. I just turn off, it isn't there for me.
Paula Friedman Sari, my admiration.
Lynn H. Friedman The thin line between staying aware and being consumed. OY. I am still glad you are home
Marian Paroo Way too many people here are consumed. And given my years of experience, I have no trouble say that a few of them enjoy it.
Deborah Birman Shlider I love this post ! And your writing ! Happy Valentines Day 2016

1 comment:

  1. Really love this, Sari! Thanks so much for letting us share it on The Israel Forever Blog: