Australia’s settlers were criminals. America’s were religious dissonants. Israel’s are dreamers. In this Holy Land of the Kotel, of elevated highways, of ultra orthodox communities, of international outsourcing, of dumpster cats, of pocket-sized home appliances, and of distraught elementary school teachers, dwell the middle-aged man with leather fringe on his vest and a refurbished motorcycle between his thighs, the fat woman, who smiles at all onlookers as she walks by in short shorts, and the youth with the shaven head, who collects tattoos faster than a beachcomber gathers shells.
Israel’s population speaks Hebrew, English, Arabic, Russian, and French; tolerates darting lizards and Old City cab drivers; and assigns credence to the decibel of one’s “amens.” People of many manners exist in splendid comportment here, together attaching meaning to this nation’s sky-filled vistas and crowded buses.
Living in Israel means embracing multiculturalism, joining in an array of lifecycle events, and easing up on relationship strictures. Although immigrants bring foreign particularities to this place of sand and sun, Israel pours an even greater depth of character into her newcomers. It remains important, in this unique quarter, to differentiate among: modes of gesturing, ways of bargaining, and avenues for seeking children’s spouses. Few geographies proffer enormity per parking tickets, dentists, or ethnic violence, concurrent with ascribing significance to aureate sunsets.