My trip to Israel—Part I

I just returned from a couple of weeks in Israel with many stories to share. In the weeks ahead, we can discuss Israeli politics/justice reform/protests, people watching on the Tel Aviv Tayelet (paved beachside walkway), our visit to Eshkol, and Yom HaZikaron/Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Memorial Day/Independence Day).

I’m horribly jet-lagged, so let’s keep things light today and talk about the journey itself and the coffee in Israel.

We flew out of Newark’s Terminal B, which is very similar to JFK’s Terminal 4. Once you’re in the line to speak with El Al security, for all intents and purposes, you’ve entered Israel. You’re surrounded by Hebrew speakers. You’re answering questions about the rabbi in the synagogue where you celebrated your bar mitzvah. You’re explaining how a CPAP machine works, as to differentiate it from a bomb. You make it to the gate just in time for Maariv, the evening service, taking place just off the main thoroughfare. You grab a kosher sandwich.

The El Al galley barely fits three people, unless the sun is rising and it’s time for Shacharit, the morning service. Then, half the plane’s population seems to fit comfortably inside. I’m a bit claustrophobic, so I hovered around row 48.

Passport control, customs, etc., was probably the smoothest I’ve ever seen it, in both directions.

Israel is a culinary powerhouse. If you’ve already climbed Masada a dozen times, consider a culinary tour of Israel on your next trip. You will not be disappointed. But, as I’ve complained in the past, with all the great food, brewed coffee still isn’t a thing. The good news is that brewed espresso is a big thing. So, cappuccino is available and delicious and a very good alternative to instant coffee.

After I catch up on some sleep, I’ll delve into some of the meatier topics mentioned above.