Thursday, October 29, 2015


Erev Shabbat and Shabbat Sarah Batya gave lovely Sheva Brachot at the hall of a nearby synagogue. The attendees included both families plus Zach's fellow students at the yeshiva. Like the wedding, it was very freylach with a lot of singing.

We attended one more at a neighbor's beautiful home with a spectacular view. Each one is given by different people and attended by different friends. There were several speeches by various rabbis and one by the wife of a close rabbi/friend lauding Sarah Batya for all her hard work planning the wedding as well as the shabbat meals.

Thursday morning we took a rather lengthy and expensive taxi ride to the train station near the
Malcha Mall and the Zoo. (The taxi cost nearly double what the senior price for both of us on the train cost!) When the new train tracks are finished from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, hopefully in the next couple of years, the station will be much more convenient. We had never seen this scenery before and it was a very quick hour and 40 minutes to Herzliya.

The CEO of MapMe
Benjamin's office is here, in just one of several Israel Silicon Valley cities. He had invited us to lunch and to see the office on our way to the family home in Ra'anana. He has 10 people working for him including one female who just started and two Israeli Arab brothers who are prized employees. Following is a message Ben sent to Facebook and many other people. We are very proud of him!

Two Brothers
Posted: 18 Oct 2015 08:55 AM PDT

Husam, me, Ahmad
It’s been a tough few weeks in Israel. Enough hatred, violence, lies and hypocrisy to last a lifetime.

On the bright side, just a week ago Mapme hired Husam, the brother of our VP Product, Ahmad. They’re seriously some of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with.

Ahmad spent last weekend mentoring Israeli Arabs and Jews at Makethon 2015 in Nazareth. He said it was one of the most amazing weekends he’s ever experienced. I couldn’t be more proud to be working with these guys.

You guys are the best!

Jennifer picked us up in Herzliya and we spent the rest of the day and eve in Ra'anana. Saw "The Intern" that night at the Thursday night special 10NIS (about $2.50) movie. All the movie houses offer this special price as they are all owned by the same company. Both Herbie and Jennifer had seen the film but we all four thoroughly enjoyed it! We can only see American or English films or those with English subtitles which leave out many foreign films. Their subtitles are in Hebrew!

Friday, Daniella, Herbie and I took the bus to Tel Aviv. Daniella is going into the Army on
Note the charger cord!
November 14 after we leave. Can't believe she is 18! Although we are not regular bus riders in the US, I got a good laugh when I saw Daniella plug in her phone! Carries her charger wherever she goes.
As we neared Tel Aviv, the apartment and condo buildings looked like China. A never ending sea of new construction everywhere!

We walked what seemed like forever from where we got off to a very Berkeley place to lunch and then thru town to the Carmel shuk and thru the shuk to a taxi to meet Jennifer and Simone in Jaffa to see a 3 pm show.

Entrance to XOHO, named for its owner, a young woman from South Africa. She is in the kitchen baking. The food is from all over the world and delicious. Sitting at the next table very close to us was a biker with a Harley Davidson shirt and alot of "jewelry." Very into chains and skulls! Much to Daniella's dismay her grandmother embarrassed her by asking the man if I could take his picture. So much more fun than sneaking it as he then happily posed looking as stern as possible!
Dig the chain and skull look!

Is this Berkeley enough?!

Note submission position!
Some of the sights on our walk blew me away! Every Friday the Tel Aviv equivalent of our SPCA brings out the dogs, numerous dogs of all shapes and sizes. The larger ones are tied to a fence, the smaller ones are grouped in pens. Quite a sight!

 My favorite tho was the street person who probably doesn't have a pot to piss in who is fanning his dog with a piece of cardboard  to cool him off in the hot weather!

On a very different subject, there is the guy who is protesting circumcision holding a sign in Hebrew with red paint down the front of his white pants! According to Daniella he is a regular on this corner. This picture I did indeed take surreptitiously as I wasn't going to give him a "red" cent!

Contrary to what has been proven by medical science, these nut cases exist in the Bay Area too.

We arrived in Jaffa via taxi and met Jennifer and Simone. Took a
The dance company's own theater. Simone, Daniella, Herbie
short walk to the Port and went to a very disappointing dance show. We had seen this group before and really liked them when they performed in Jerusalem  several years ago with members of a classical ballet company.  They are between Stomp and modern dance with pots and pans and a rather dumb story. Oh well, can't win 'em all!

Had a lovely Shabbat with Langs and Elaine, daughter of Jennifer's dear friends in NY/NJ and close friend of Daniella.  She is here on a gap year program before returning to start college. She and Daniella had a very lively conversation at the Shabbat table! Two very bright 18 year old young ladies!

Elaine arranged for us to take the bus back Saturday night with 40 girls from various programs who were dropped off and picked up from several cities along the way. They all either had family or friends to visit in the area. Elaine's school has been on lock down as it is in the Old City and the girls needed to get away. Can't be too cautious when dealing with groups like that.

Things seem to have quieted down in Jerusalem with most of the violent problems in the West Bank. Tel Aviv is its usual vibrant self and has been spared much of the situation. Jerusalem, however, has more than it share of other problems and I am sure they will not go away soon.

To be continued...

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