Wits from Elanowits

I find myself thinking and looking at things lately in a more light-hearted way, and thought I would share some whimsical observations:
We were at a friend’s house for a lovely and delicious Shabbat meal recently, and a kind grandfather from the States sent his adorable grandchildren a package of taffy candies called “Airheads.” When one of the kids asked for the blue one, I immediately thought of how often our kids asked for the blue “Dumdums.” For some reason, another candy called “Nerds” came to mind, and the theme was clear: while Hersheys produces emotionally stroking and comforting “Kisses” and “Hugs,” other companies are making ego-deflating and insulting airheads, dumdums and nerds. Are we far from seeing caramel “Fatslobs?”
I recently saw a youtube clip of Israel being honored by France (I think) on the occasion of our 63rd anniversary. The Hatikvah is sung beautifully for a packed auditorium of people including Israeli defense forces personel. A huge group of soldiers comes on stage, holding various flags, and with marching band music, various formations are created as scene from an overhead camera. Now we see two huge hearts, and a menorah, and the flag of Israel, call created by dozens of marchers moving precisely on the grid onstage. It was extremely impressive, especially when the announcer tells everyone what they are seeing: “The symbol of Tzahal,” “the number 63,” “the symbol of Israel’s defense and security system,” and my personal favorite, the one that surely did not need an explanation, “the symbol of the Israeli Prison system.” Did we need that one? I would have greater enjoyed more easily recognizable formations like “schwarma in a pita,” “trashcan fire in Mea Shearim,” and “Israel Prime Minister breaks ground for peace.” That would have been the easiest, no one moves.
There is a website called Israemploy, where I used to look at job listings. Finding a job in Israel after making aliyah is not a simple matter, even though, in general, I don’t need to make here what I made in the states. Now that I am a fundraiser (pc: Director of Development) for a local synagogue, I have basically stopped looking at this list that still comes in my inbox daily. I have to admit that I didn’t understand half the jobs listed: algorithm engineer, BI-Team leader, Content Management Person, Hadoop Engineer, PHP Programmer, DTP Specialist. Imagine my surprise when earlier in the week I saw the following job opening among so many other technical offerings, inspiring an “only in Israel” moment: SHEPHERD. I was really hoping that Moses was not reading this list so I could beat him to the call. Now, one would think that any shepherd would do, you know, some generic shepherd, but there was one qualification. The shepherd must be an expert in cheeses. Of course.
The signage in Israel is a cholent of languages- Hebrew, English, Arabic. What is Kiryat Arba on one sign, is Qiryat Arbah on another. It’s hard to find consistency. But now I see it’s hard to find accuracy. For example, I was anxious to take a guided trip to the ocean-side city that contains Ben Gurion airport and some of the tallest buildings in Israel, Israel’s other big city. I saw a sign on which was written “Detour to Tel Aviv,” but the tour was nowhere to be found.
Today our apartment was fumigated. There was a lot to do before Mr. Spritzer could come and spray, in that everything except heavy furniture needed to be taken off the floors. That’s the bad news; the good news was that I had to leave the apartment for 4 hours! Wow, what a mini-vacation, I said to myself, what will I do for the next 4 hours?
Off I went on two busses to the beautiful, colorful and bustling Malcha Mall in Jerusalem, had a delicious lunch, met some friends, made some calls, sent some emails on my iphone, and then it was time to return home. I was told the #18 bus from Malcha went to the Central Bus Station, and I gladly got on and took a seat on this very comfortable and excellently air-conditioned double bus. What I didn’t realize is that the #18 bus from Malcha to the bus station is true to its Hebrew word “chai” meaning life- it felt like a lifetime on that bus. I’ve never spent so much time on one bus in my life. I think the flight from Tel Aviv to Newark is shorter by 20 minutes. I think we passed through some of the BeNeLux countries. I kept checking my iphone calendar to see when Shabbat candlelighting was, and got worried I wouldn’t make it. I think the driver grew a beard. By the time we arrived at the bus station, the “Welcome Back Egged Hostages” sign was a welcome sentiment. I think next time I’ll take two #9’s. It’s got to be shorter.
(Elan has a website, elanadler.com and also hosts the Derech Eretz Hour every Wednesday afternoon on israelnationalradio.com )