Day 4: CNN & Dew Drop In

August 9, 2005

Yesterday, for the first time in nine years, I davened (recited) Shakharit, the traditional morning prayer. It wasn't the result of any religious revelation or desire to return to Orthodoxy. Some student supporters had simply decided to go to shul, and I joined them. I recited the summer prayer that God let the dew fall. After Shakharit, a small CNN crew landed in Morag to film the place. No one really welcomed them except me. No one really likes to talk to the press unless it's for a live broadcast. In the editing room reporters manage to turn things around and preserve only those remarks t

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Day 3: The Nine Days

August 8, 2005

A new week in the Gush -- and I have a feeling it will bear a different tone than last week, which was filled with euphoria. This week will be filled with more solemnity, as we are counting the nine days leading to the destruction of the second temple -- and the planned destruction of Jewish communities in Gush Katif. Everyday at Gush Katif brings something new -- a new friend, a new experience, a new idea, or a new understanding. I heard that a group of students against the expulsion, the "Orange Cell," had landed in the Gush, illegally of course, and I thought I would become acquainted wit

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Day 2: Shabbat in the Gush II

August 7, 2005

The last time I spent Shabbat in Gush Katif, the topic of Disengagement was a self-imposed taboo; this time it was all the families could talk about. Mothers, fathers, children were all venting their anger, upset, humiliation, suffering, pain, and most of all -- incredulity -- incredulity that the Israeli government could be so cruel and heartless by putting them through such a traumatic ordeal. I entered the home of the family hosting me for the Friday night meal -- it was not a house -- but a home. The home was filled with hundred of plants and paintings and sculptures created by the artist

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Day 1: Infiltrating the Gush

August 5, 2005

After passing through the initial checkpoints leading to the Kissufim Crossing under the pretense that I was a "stupid American" who didn't know Hebrew or current affairs, I smuggled into my friend's car with a fake ID. The male driver told the patroller at Kissufim to cut him a break, and they didn't check me as I pretended to be asleep in the back seat. Entering the Gush Neve Dekalim was just as I left it a month before, during my Shabbat visit. There was no sign of impending doom or disaster -- the trees, the buildings, the roads, were all as they were -- people were walk

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The End of Sanity

June 28, 2005

The orange ribbon was tied neatly around my rearview mirror. Through the mirror I saw the face of an acquaintance in the backseat. I was giving her a ride from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. When she noticed the color of my political views above the dashboard, she offered her own: "We can't live in the midst of our enemy. Disengagement is the only sane thing to do." "I disagree," I said simply, avoiding a political debate I wasn't ready to win fully. I knew I would find out some more truth for myself, that weekend, on my planned trip to Gush Katif. I had to go to the Gush before it was too late. I

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A Traveler’s Guide to Tel Aviv Nightlife

May 30, 2005

Jewish Journal, May 19, 2005 If the Cinderella story had been set in Tel Aviv, her raggedy slipper would have turned into a magical glass pump at the witching hour, instead of the other way around. New York may be the city that never sleeps, but life in Tel Aviv begins at midnight. There are dozens of nightclubs and about 200 bars in this mini-metropolis, each with its own flavor and theme. Yet they all share a determination and dedication to having a good time. Think of this list of diverse venues as a starting point to explore Tel Aviv’s nightlife, since wh

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