Sunday, February 7, 2010

Swirling Thoughts #111 - They said living here is not the same as vacationing here

Granted, as a tayar (tourist) I enjoyed hot showers to my heart’s content at the Inbal. I even giggled at the card in the bathroom gently suggesting I hang up my towel for re-use rather than leave it to be changed. My biggest bureaucratic nightmare may have been arranging for two taxis to transport my family around town since strict seatbelt laws prohibit 6 of us from squishing into one.

What else did I do as a tayar? Let’s see. We visited holy sites. The Kotel. Kever Rachel. Ma’arat ha’Machpela. We visited family. Jerusalem relatives. Tel Aviv relatives. We had lots of treats (read: candy and ice cream). We hung out with friends. We ate in restaurants.

Seven months into it, I’d say it’s still pretty vacationy on a lot of levels. Bob is around more often than not – this alone makes it vacationy. But there are other things. We’ve had a steady stream of visitors – family and friends, planned visits and welcome surprises. We get to the local holy sites more often than you’d think. Israeli relatives have started to visit. Our Tel Aviv dodas (aunts) showed up with chocolate and gummy worms in an unprecedented motzei Shabbat pop-in. Yes, the kids go to school six days a week but they’re home early enough that the pace is never quite frenzied. Shabbat is filled with friends and we eat our fair share of ‘Israeli Breakfast’ in restaurants.

Next week my Shabbat learning group is tiyuling to some of the sites named in Sefer Yehoshuah. Here’s the description:

We will look down on Yericho and discuss the Rachav story, see & discuss the whole geography of Ever HaYarden, Arvot Moav, Gilgal, go to *the actual spot* where Bnei Yisrael crossed the Jordan -- it seems that this is a known, identified place! -- and then go on to see either one of the proposed sites for Ha'Ay (there's a big machloket regarding where it is) or else sites connected with the battle of Givon or else landmarks connected with the nachalot of Yehudah & Binyamin.

All this and I will be home by 3 for my kids.

Living here is not the same as vacationing here. It’s better.

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