we’ve been so ridiculously lazy here in tel aviv. waking up hellza late, doing pretty much nothing but eating during the day. we just cant get motivated to do pretty much anything but relax! we ate at a super good restaurant today… their thing was that all their meals were based on hummus. we’ve had plenty of middle eastern food already in the last few weeks, but this was all creative and super good! our waitress mentioned that tonight was the first night of hannukah, but when we asked her if anything was going on in town to celebrate, she said that there probably wasn’t. dammit! we had rushed over here to be in istrael during hannukah and there would be no public celebration?
to do at least something, we bought a cheap manorah and some candles on the way back to the hotel. at least we could have our own little celebration. we little the candles in our *tiny* hotel room, and hung out while the candles burned. heh, it wasnt a crazy big celebration, but it was really nice, and i’m glad that we’ll have something small to look forward to for the next 8 days.
a little while later, we decided to go see a movie, so we walked down towards the movie theater that we saw the other day. walking up to the place, i could barely make out the words or the jewish candle prayer coming out over a loudspeaker. looks like there was a public celebration afterall! so we rushed over, and there was this huge manorah that was lit up, and they were playing jewish songs over a soundsystem w/ live singing and keyboards. all sorts of orthadox jews w/ their black and white suits, long beards, and wide brimmed black hats were frantically dancing in circles. it was soo cool! i dunno… it was actually a really really moving experience for me. i’ve celebrated jewish holidays for years… and have always really wanted them to be celebrated where they are at their best.. in “the promised land”. when we celebrate passover back home, the final words are always “next year in jerusalem”.. and yeah, this isn’t jerusalem, but it’s israel.. and here i was watching a hanukkah celebration. it was all vefry emotional and exciting. there’s something really really special about cultural traditions.. and the longer you live, and the more times you experience them, they just somehow hold a bigger and bigger place in your heart.