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In the plethora of articles marking 50 years since the Six Day War a piece devoted to Israel’s preemptive air strike at 7:45 AM on 11 Egyptian air bases that literally destroyed the Egyptian air force on the ground, revealed just how complex pulling off such a feat was.

            There were years of intense intelligence work by the IAF – independent of the IDF’s Intelligence Corps where ‘the devil is in the details’. Like what? Not only knowing Egyptian pilots would be having breakfast at 7:45 AM after dawn patrol and base commanders would be on their way to work from home, but knowing Egyptian runways are made of concrete not asphalt requiring Israel to develop special bombs that wouldn’t simply bounce off the runways on impact… (Israel HaYom) Photo credit: Destroyed Egyptian aircraft on the ground – Israel Government Press Office 



Thirty-five year-old Israel Opera soloist Agam Englard-Saar is out to popularize opera in a unique way that goes beyond the fashion of concert programs that mix classical music with musicale ditties or the Beatles to attract a young audience.

            Without fancy costumes or even a spot of makeup – armed only with her incredible voice, the soprano sat down at the piano in her living room in a black tank top – the kind of apparel one dons to wash the floors or step out to the corner grocery to pick up a liter of milk – to belt out a series of well-known arias and classical melodies which she videotaped and posted on her Facebook page…with new lyrics that range from an ode to exhausted parents of small children* to lambasting the Hebrew Language Academy’s search for a Hebrew name for the spinner before the fad fades. (Yediot) Photo credit: Agamvoice website 


* Rough translation of the first stanza sans the rhyme: Eve has arrived/ time to chill out/start the dishwasher/put up [your] feet…Even if laundry remains/ ‘tho there’s clothes on the floor…just for a minute/let’s sit/ and let up on routine. Let’s say you’re on the seashore/ let’s say everything is simply perfect/ coconut drink in hand/ you beam all over…if only you could ignore your world…”



Chinese tourism to Israel is on the rise* according to a Yediot profile. But what sparked Li-Yong from Beijing to visit Israel was truly unique:  Returning home from working for a Chinese construction company in East Africa, Li-Yong was standing at the checkout at the Duty Free in Addis Ababa during a layover between flights when he discovered he was short by a dollar in cash for the $71 bottle of Johnny Walker Green Label he planned to take back to family in Beijing. He was about to forgo the purchase when a perfect stranger behind him in line handed him a dollar bill. She told him she was touring Africa after finishing her military service in the IDF. “I said to myself, I have to go see the place where these considerate Jews live…” (Israel HaYom) Photo credit: Israeli Embassy in Beijing


* 80,000 visitors in 2016, up from 40,000 in 2015, with 100,000 tourists expected in 2017.



It’s an Israeli tradition in some quarters to fulfill the commandment at Shavuot to “rejoice in your holiday” (Deut. 16:14) by ‘reenacting’ an event that took place during the pilgrimage to Jerusalem in biblical times: pouring water on the altar. 

            So, while Israelis may turn off the tap when they brush their teeth to save water, in honor of the declaration in the Mishne that “whoever has not seen the joyous water-drawing ceremony (simchat beit hasho’ava in Hebrew) has never experienced true joy” Israeli kids mark the event with a modern twist. How? Water fights, of course!

            Some engage in water pistol duels.  Other kids throw buckets of water on one anther.  And how could it be otherwise…there are countless water fights with water bombs.  

            This year, three 17 year-old adolescents from Rishon l’Zion – Saar Gafla, Dor Abdu and Or Dubi – found themselves in hot water while throwing water bombs at one another during Shavuot: A humorless city inspector fined the three teens 730 NIS ($208) each …officially charging them with littering (“throwing trash on the street and refusing to clean it up”)

            “We were just throwing water bombs at one another and by mistake one burst on the patrol car of a municipal inspector (pakach) parked nearby,” claimed Gafla but City Hall insisted they’d done so ‘on purpose’ and had refused to ‘pick up the pieces’ when told to do so by a city employee…

            City hall has now reconsidered: They’ll replace the fines for “vandalism” with “appropriate public service”…to be set together with the principal of the youngsters’ high school. (Yediot)Photo credit:  Water Bomb Balloons - Ali Express online Hebrew catalogue


* About Guthrie’s 1967 classic ballad see Alice’s Restaurant – original recording at YouTube.



According to Channel 10 news, “four is the new three”:  In Israel’s family-oriented* society, parents have 3.1 children compared to 1.7 kids in other OECD countries.

            But according to Channel 10, more and more financially comfortable secular Jewish families are having a fourth child (or even more kids) – not just low-income and religious families…a new ‘status symbol’ advertising that they can afford to have another kid…

            Behavioral scientist Dr. Anat Gai said the trend is “mythic” - reflecting a self-fulfilling prophecy of “how Israelis imagine the Israeli family”: “large, loud (tzaalani), happy and mischievous (shovava).” (Channel 10) Photo credit:


* According to experts ‘family-oriented’ is measured in the broad scope of marriages, a relatively low divorce rate compared to other countries and a very high fertility rate by any measure.  It’s  also reflected in a full five percent of all children born being ‘test tube’ babies conceived in-vetro. Moreover only Israel allows 45 year old women to undergo the egg harvesting process. 



Perhaps because the Hebrew term for a sentry and a stalagmite – zakif – are one-and-the-same, a Haifa magistrate’s court accepted the disability claim submitted by a former sentry with the Israel Prison Service. The claim (initially rejected by the Ministry of Defense as a work-related disability) maintains that repetitive motion in his service conditions over twenty years on the job were behind the petitioner’s now compromised health status.

            To be more specific - the petitioner claimed his cervical vertebrae had been knocked out of whack by constantly stretching his neck to view the occupants in cars entering the Israeli prison facility where he was posted - a pain-in-the-neck further exacerbated by constantly monitoring surveillance cameras in the sentry box where he sat.* (Ynet) Photo credit: CC – Stalagmite US National Parks Service, Peter Jones and CC a vintage sentry box in Denmark


* The petitioner further stressed he’d previously served as a loader-signaler (kashar-ta’an) in the Armored Corps, schlepping around 35 kilo (77 pound) tank shells -  adding to his troubles.