Israel 2013

My family has just returned from a trip to Israel. Before we departed on our trip I had several friends that were concerned for our safety.  At no time did I feel that my safety or my family were in any danger.  In fact quite the opposite.

We rented an apartment in the heart of the city about a few hundred yards from the sea. Many nights I would walk to the store, a female alone and never felt afraid. Instead I felt like I was part of a community. Tel Aviv is a night city. Restaurants, pubs, grocery stores are all open late. I actually felt safer in Tel Aviv at night than walking in downtown Wailuku at night.

There are many differences between my Maui life and staying in Tel Aviv, Israel. We travel to visit family. One aspect I love is that you will not find big box stores. Instead you’ll find neighborhood bakeries, butcher shops, florists, wine shops and grocery stores. To shop for dinner you stop and shop at each of these stores all privately owned. You walk also and just buy what you need. Even in a big city like Tel Aviv – I love this aspect of city life.

I LOVED driving in Israel. It’s highly defensive driving. Traffic lights turn yellow BEFORE the light turns green. And when the light is green it flashes three times before it turns red. No one runs a red light. Everyone quickly honks to call attention to you to move or to let you know their passing and leaving only a inch or two between you and them. Each move is taken carefully, quickly and with a calculated move. No time or space is wasted. No one drives with anger or with a selfish thought. And everyone stops for people crossing the street.

Shabbat is the most important Jewish holiday that comes each week, sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. The entire city shuts down. Buses, all stores and and no business is conducted. Parks are filled with families and friends. Everyone takes a break from their regular routine. Flower vendors popup everywhere on Friday morning. It’s such a nice break.

Time spent with family is the reason for our trip. It’s so good to stop and spend time together. Coming to Israel has a special meaning. Thanks for reading.





21 thoughts on “Israel 2013

  1. You’ve reminded me of what I love about cities too. Hong Kong is somewhat similar as everyone is out and about until sometimes even 11 PM on a weeknight. I also love the neighborhood stores in NYC for the same reasons you’ve described here. Even in Honolulu you can walk a bit more. It was an adjustment for me when I moved here as I used to walk to Kahala Mall and to dining in Kaimuki all the time. Also was used to walking on my lunch break in downtown or Waikiki so it’s weird for me to have to drive everywhere now.

    I always enjoy hearing about your trips to Israel. I didn’t realize it was an annual trek or that you had family there. I kind of thought last year was a one off trip.

    • Thank you Tania. I have so much to share about my trip.I’ve stayed in Hong Kong several times for an extended amount of time. I love city life. As I mentioned, I’d like to have coffee or lunch and talk more.

    • Peter.
      If you ever decide to travel to Israel, I’d be happy to talk story and share more of what I’ve experienced. The country has so much to offer.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with us, Dania. I’m so happy that you and your family took the opportunity to spend time with your family in Israel. I know that you were blessed for making the sacrifices it took to go. Looking forward to hearing more of the details :~)

  3. Mahalo for sharing. It transported me back to my trips to Yisrael. Shabbat was my favorite time. To watch the transition from very busy to not busy at all, then quiet. Families came out on the street together as they strolled to synagogue. The transition touched me deeply. How precious.

  4. Sounds wonderful. Interesting safety comparison; Tel Aviv has been splashed across the news a bit more than Wailuku over the past few years. Hopefully the peace you experienced is permanent. I look forward to checking it out. Waiting for Egypt to calm down a little first so I can visit that whole region over a couple months.

    • Melissa. It’s amazing place for food and food history. 90% of food consumed in Israel is grown locally. Ah, yes the opposite of Hawaii. I’m thinking of making an Israeli Food night and I’ll try and time it so you can share too. Love breaking bread with you.

  5. Dania,
    It sounds like you and your family had a wonderful time!
    I love the concept of Shabbat, we should all learn to take some “family” time and step away from commercialism.
    I have also wanted to try living someplace where you buy local food and shop for fresh ingredients daily… Or at least every couple of days!
    Thanks for sharing with us :)

    • Thank Penny.
      You have a beautiful family and we should all come together and share a meal, turn off our phones and be together. It’s not about religion. Maui is blessed to have you all on our island living, sharing and supporting our community.

  6. I agree with Penny, we should have Shabbat. Spain has Siesta, but maybe that is so that can stay up late to party :) Thanks for sharing your experience and culture. I love reading about it.

  7. It sounds amazing. I enjoyed following you vicariously via FB. You are such a wonderfully incusive person, I felt like I was “there” too!
    Aloha and friendship always,

  8. I wish everywhere would outlaw the big box stores. I love the personality and uniqueness of small businesses and the community surrounding them. That’s why I liked visiting Vancouver. It was VERY small business there.

    Great trip! Glad you had fun!

  9. That’s so descriptive Dania. 90% of their food is locally grown, amazing! Media often portrays things worse than they are anyhow, and taking the time to be out of the country and have different perspectives can only be refreshing. How lovely that you give your children that gift of culture, travel and family.

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