Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Laila Tov, Tel Aviv

I just got back from my sixth trip to Israel this year. It will have to be the last. Not only because the year is almost over, but also because I have a job here that likes it when I show up from time to time. Getting days off is pretty easy after the summer rush, but Christmas/real New Year/Chinese New Year is easily the busiest time. Fortunately, Christmas isn't the busiest time of year in Tel Aviv at all. Jerusalem has a few good places to go during Christmas, obviously, but if I were there, I don't think I'd go to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It's just too small to handle the crowds they must get.

My first trip to Israel was at the tail end of Independence Day, but I've never seen any major religious holidays. I just missed Yom Kippur. I'd really like to see that one. I was there during Lag B'Omer, but I didn't even know it was a holiday until someone told me. Independence Day was a giant block party. Lag B'Omer was like Flag Day.

The first time I went to Israel, I thought I was learning a lot about the place. Now that I've been there a few times, I think I know even less than I ever did. I'm not surprised. It took me years to figure out China. In fact, I'm still working on it. But when you go to a place like Israel for the first time, you almost expect a few of the mysteries of the universe to reveal themselves to you. They don't. At least not to me. It's a wonderfully magical place, but I'm just as unenlightened as I was before.

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