Sunday, May 22, 2016

Israel 2016-- Only in Israel


Only in Israel.
Only in Israel can you wake up in Jerusalem,
And go to sleep in Tel Aviv.
Only in Israel
Can you search the depths of your soul
In a garden full of roses and mulberries
That sits between the Knesset and the Supreme Court.
And then, after visiting an abysmally maintained but miraculously present restroom
Walk by the Prime Minister’s Office
Where a small group of Israelis are protesting
Some governmental business deal
Pertaining to offshore natural gas
with great anger
but without 
or threat of violence. 
Only in Israel
Does the national governmental compound
Have a Menorah
That tells our stories and proclaims the words of the Shema
And a world class museum
And a soon to be completed National Library and Archive.
Only in Israel do they close a McDonalds in a small suburban mall,
And replace it with something even less appetizing,
If you can imagine that 
(it’s called Burger Ranch).
And only in Israel are there two books stores
In that same suburban mall.
And a coffee shop that has a rack of daily newspapers
That people actually read while sipping espresso.
And only in Israel
Can you tell when you’re getting close to Tel Aviv
Because the cars stop moving
in all directions
And the walls are covered with sacred, profane, and even more profane 
and even more sacred 
That dries in the sunset of the Mediterranean Sea
Only to be painted over by more graffiti the next day. 
And only in Israel
Does Tel Aviv melt in Jaffa
Where the famous clock tower
 Is wrapped in a black shroud of construction
With that infamous “Na, Nach, Nachman” graffiti on the side.
And only in Israel
Does Shakshuka taste like Shakshuka is supposed to taste 
Because the recipe was created to 
feed the stomachs 
of the men 
and women
who have guarded 
The State of Israel.
And only in Israel
Does the gentle breeze carry the sounds of the Hebrew language,
And rustle the leaves of olive, fig, carob, almond, and palm trees. 
And only in Israel
Can you sit in a hotel lobby with people you haven’t seen in years
and cry tears of joy
 and be reunited.
And only in Israel
Can an 8th grader from The Davis Academy
At the same time.

What happens in Israel
Doesn’t stay in Israel. 


  1. As I have been that parent watching Twitter for pictures and have read each and every one of these blogs pretty much the minute they have been posted I have been struggling to put into words all the emotions over the last couple of weeks. However, as this trip is soon coming to an end I at least wanted to say Thank you! Thank you for your time and preparation for this amazing journey for our kids and us. Thank you for your incredible writing and inspiration. Thank you for keeping our kids safe and us informed. Thank you Davis Academy! As Micah said before he left he has been waiting 9 years for this trip and so have we. Choosing the Davis Academy and sending him on this incredible Journey has been our best decision yet as parents. It is truly a gift and one that we know will have a lasting impact on our whole family. Although those 2 simple words just don't seem enough. Israel has always and will always remain an important and special part of our family. For Micah to have gotten to experience Israel the way he has the last 2 weeks is truly a gift. As you said to be able to Unplug and Connect At the same time is in this day and age amazing! I know when he steps on that plane he will not be saying "good-bye", but rather "L'Hitraot" see you later.

  2. Only at Davis.
    Only at Davis can you start as a small Mechina pisher,
    And finish as an 8th grade mensch.

    Only at Davis
    Can you search the depths of your soul
    In an outdoor classroom
    That is a cross between Pee Wee’s playhouse and a nature sanctuary.
    And then, as you enter the school to go back inside
    Walk by the front reception desk
    Where Ms. Janice greets you
    With a southern drawl
    Making you feel like you are certainly her favorite
    While also,
    Opening the gate,
    And answering the phone.

    Only at Davis
    Does the artwork lining the halls
    Combine Judaica and Rock and Roll lyrics
    That documents each stage of student growth
    With a quality that rivals MOMA.

    Only at Davis does the whole school take a breath together Friday mornings
    To replace the normal Friday chaos at school with
    Kehillat and Ruach
    (Kabbalat Shabbat as we call it).

    And only at Davis are there two school buildings
    On the same suburban street.
    Where a newly created sidewalk runs between
    As the main artery, each feeding the other.
    And only at Davis
    Can you tell when you’re getting close to carpool
    Because the cars stop moving
    in all directions
    And Pepe and his crew greet you with a smile
    and wave you to your
    As you grab every last moment to chat with
    Your friend in another car to share a quick story until you meet again

    And only at Davis
    Does Marilyn open the gate
    Where the digital sign,
    With that infamous teal menorah logo,
    Shares the news, weather, and info of the week.
    Only at Davis
    Does Kol Yisrael sound like it is supposed to sound,
    Because the song was created by Rabbi Micah
    to feed the souls
    of the boys
    and girls
    and teachers
    and staff
    who have walked through the halls.
    And it does.

    And only at Davis
    Does the echo in the halls carry the sounds of the Hebrew language,
    Combined with show tunes from the recent Davis play and lyrics from the recent Davis concert,
    Along with the laughter of little ones, big ones, adults, grandparents, and friends.

    And only at Davis
    Can you sit in the gym with people you haven’t seen in weeks,
    Listen to your children and their chaperones recap their experience in Israel
    and cry tears of joy
    and pride
    at realization of how the last two weeks
    have changed
    all of you.
    And you
    At the same time
    As you realize your time together is ending.

    What happens at Davis
    You take with you forever.

    1. Crying and laughing at the same time, Stacey! This is beautiful!