Batya Medad
Kvetching and Kvelling
May 25, 2011

Should we chalk this up to national nouveau riche syndrome here in Israel?

When we made aliyah in 1970, the standard of living here in Israel was so much lower than in the states. It was a culture shock for many and the reason why the return rate to the United States and other western countries was so high.

We had telephone service pretty quickly. Within a few months (yes months) there was a phone in the Betar Student Hostel we lived in in the Old City of Jerusalem. Before then, we had to walk out to the public phone near the police station at Jaffa Gate. Then in the summer of 1971 we moved into a second hand apartment we purchased in Bayit V'Gan and had a phone a year later. My cousin made aliyah late 1974, and it took seven years for them to get a phone in their Netanya apartment. And when we ordered our phone, it was still possible to get, for less money, a party-line.

Of course, now in Israel, most people have a few phones, internet and any appliance they can fit in their homes. There's no real difference in day to day life.

Most people have good heating systems and air-conditioners. Here's my little rant. They overheat in the winter and freeze everyone in the summer. It drives me nuts. Instead of keeping homes, offices, public buildings, stores etc at one comfortable temperature we end up suffering from all sorts of annoying colds etc because of the extreme temperatures. It was like that in New York in the 1960's. I remember having to take a sweater with me in the summer to keep warm, because the air-conditioning was much too strong.

I hope you weren't shocked that I actually complained, kvetched.

A Winner!

Let's enjoy the fact that Israeli, Yosef Cedar's film won the very prestigious Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay for his film, Footnote.

Cedar is not just any Israeli, he's religious, a Sabbath observer. (His family went to the same synagogue we did in Bayit V'Gan, Jerusalem.)

As important as the Cannes Film Festival is for his career, profession, he made them wait until after Shabbat was over to screen his movie. And he didn't leave his hotel until after Shabbat had ended. International cinema big shots were understanding and supportive. They respect people who respect themselves.

Nu, that line can't be ignored. I wasn't going to write "politics," but I have no doubt that if Israel was to be run by politicians who are honest, consistent and firm in the priority that Israel's security and historic rights are all we care about, the pressure would ease and disappear. Our "leaders" invite the pressure by reacting to it, trying to compromise and "be nice."

Most important right now is a hearty and sincere MAZAL TOV to Yosef Cedar, his family and those who helped him produce Footnote.

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