asher63 (asher63) wrote,
asher63
asher63

Tel Aviv Bound

So, I'm going to Israel for two weeks.

My flight leaves tomorrow morning. The trip is a 20-hour affair, which I hope my trusty Tommy gear (eye mask + noise-canceling headphones) will render tolerable.

I've been to Israel just twice before in my life. The first time was around 1985 (or maybe '86) and I was with Paula. We were living in Izmir, Turkey, where I was stationed for 2 years with the US Air Force. I don't remember much about that visit, or what sightseeing we did, if any, outside of Jerusalem.

The second trip was in 1993, immediately after I was released from my hitch in the Marine Corps. I was with Talia then, Daniel's mom. (TNG himself didn't come onto the scene until 1995.) Again, I remember very little; I know we saw Jerusalem and Tsfat (which is inexplicably spelled Safed in English), and stayed for a couple of days in Eilat in these budget-priced accommodations that looked like steel doghouses. (Were the air conditioning in one of these to fail, I imagine it would become uninhabitable in minutes.)

I know that on both trips I visited all the obligatory sites - the Kotel of course, the Old City, the Knesset building, Yad vaShem, the Tomb of the Patriarchs (at least once), and more graves of famous rabbis than I can remember, or care to.

But I never saw Tel Aviv.

Later, when speaking with Israeli friends, I'd mention that I had visited Israel twice, and seen Jerusalem. "Did you see Tel Aviv?" No. And their reaction was invariably, "WTF?!? How do you visit Israel and not see Tel Aviv?" And I didn't have a good answer to that.

This time I want to see Tel Aviv. It's a modern, cosmopolitan, traditionally secular city; and that's the side of Israel, the modern side that lives in the here-and-now, that I didn't expose myself to in my earlier, mostly religiously-oriented pilgrimages.

I am planning to reconnect with Paula, who now lives in a little town called Arad. I'll also try to get to Be'ersheva and meet up with a couple of families from the Mission community who are living there now.

I will surely make a trip or two to Jerusalem and see the holy sites; but mainly, it's Tel Aviv that I'm excited about seeing. Life is to short to spend all your time running around looking at graves.
Angels (Incitement) / Malachim (Hasata)
There aren't any angels in heaven
I'm here with you, right in between
Tags: hebraica, telaviv, travel
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