Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Upside Down Sukkah

When you purchase a sukkah in Israel it's supposed to be a lifetime investment. The so-called sukkah l'netzach is easily constructed and then stored away after the holiday for future use. How is it, then, that I've gone through four or five of the contraptions over the years?

The first "ever-lasting" sukkah I bought was nothing more than a set of irrigation pipes. The end of each pipe had to be screwed onto the next pipe's connecting threads with the help of a monkey wrench. This sukkah swayed dangerously in the slightest breeze. After one or two holidays, the end of the pipes broke off, effectively shortening its shelf life.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Into the Mindset of a Suicide Bomber

It begins with a suicide bombing. An explosion in a restaurant in central Tel Aviv. At least 17 people are dead, including a group of teenage girls celebrating at a birthday party. Ambulances race to Ichilov Hospital, where doctors and nurses labor around the clock to save as many lives as possible. One of the surgeons is an Israeli Arab citizen, Dr. Amin Jaafari, who has been trying to contact his wife, due to return to the city from a visit to her grandmother in Nazareth.

After endless hours in the wards, Amin returns to his home in an affluent neighborhood only to be woken hours later by police knocking at his door. He is called back to the hospital to identify the body of one of the victims. In the morgue he sees the remains of his wife. The police tell him that the extensive wounds she suffered are due to the fact that she was the suicide bomber who detonated in the restaurant.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Kill Me Now, a Book Review

It's easy to fill in the missing location - Israel - but this tale of a middle-aged man's dating misadventures is universal.

The first thing I noticed when reading Kill Me Now! by Lawrence Fisher was that the location of the story was never mentioned. The author, who lives in Tel Aviv, doesn't state that his maneuvers on the dating battleground take place in his hometown, but this is easily deduced as the story couldn't take place anywhere else.

"My book is all about dating in Israel and my hilarious escapes and escapades," Lawrence told me, but he never states this openly in his book.

Friday, September 14, 2012

No More Shana Tova Cards in the Mail

How can you decorate your sukkah with Shana Tova greetings received by phone and email?

My mobile phone buzzed to announce an incoming text message. “To all the residents of the Mate Yehuda Regional Council: The coming year should be a year of health and success, prosperity, peace, security, and…”

The message was cut off, but then my phone buzzed again as I received the second part. “Always at your service,” the message concluded, listing the head of the council in the signature.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Dinosaur Era Mobile Phone

The other day I attended a company meeting and watched a laptop presentation projected on a large white screen at the front of the room. When discussion turned to a video about the product, a video that was hosted on YouTube, we tried to access the Internet via the company’s wireless setup. Unfortunately, the connection was very slow and we all sat for several minutes while the content buffered on the screen.

“Wait, I have it on my phone,” the person next to me stated, and indeed, the video was being broadcast faster on his smartphone than it was through the wireless connection.