Author Topic: Israel  (Read 3890 times)

Offline bear

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« on: Jun 02, 06, 03:18 PM »
Kibbutz Hazorea

I first learnt of the kibbutz when i was surfing  I encountered one Jewish guy who wanted to go to Malaysia.  Naturally i say dun cos as he is Jewish, not too good to go to Israel since if i am not mistaken, Malaysia does not recognise Israel.  So i told him to come to SIngapore.

In Singapore, i met him and showed him around the city.  It was then that i found out about his kibbutz, Kibbutz Hazorea, where he stayed and the volunteer work there.  The way he described it, i thought i would be milking cows for months in Israel.  Naturally, my imagination worked over time.

It was yrs later before i actually went.  I got an invitation letter from the kibbutz to get my visas to Israel.  After a trip through Finland and Amsterdam (read my other posts), I landed in Ben-Gurion Airport.  The immigration took a long time to clear and i slept the night at a youth hostel.  

The next morning, i went to the volunteer centre to register myself and to make contact with my friend.  I met my friend in the afternoon and his uncle drove me to the kibbutz.

On arrival, i was assigned a room (actually a bed as i had bunk mates) and some work clothes, an alarm clock and some credits to have dinner.  

The next morning, i was given a tour and finally given my assignment as laundryman.  Now, one might think that this was not glamourous.  I mean u can work in the garden, fish pond, kitchen (and learn secret recipes) but just folding blankets and bed sheets the entire day?  Well, dun forget, it was feb and in Israel, it can get very cold.  Actually had sleet many times during feb and when u fold freshly ironed bedsheets in a heated room, it was paradise.  And of cos it helped that i had a pretty korean girl as my partner 8)  .

Work was something like this.  Sunday to Thursday I would work from 0800 to 1430 or 1500 hrs with an hour break in between.  There was no over time.  In fact, they were so strict on it in the sense that the washing machines would be turned off even if there were clothes inside...

We celebrated a lot of festivals in it.  Purim, Passover and the anniversary.  It was fun and one thing is for sure, the Israelis really know how to party...

Trips in Israel

Basically, during my stay in Israel, while i had many excursions and trips, two stuck in my head.  Jerusalem and Golan Heights.

Golan Heights was a trip organised by the kibbutz for volunteers.  We were told from the very beginning before we debarked for the bus that if the signs say dun walk on the grass, we really should not cos there might really be mines there from previous wars. 

The highlight of the trip was a trip to a machine gun post with the appropriate trenches around it.  I was informed that it was not, or perhaps never was, an active machine gun post in the sense that it was never emant to see service.  As gung ho bear, i posed for pictures as the machine guns, making it look lik ei was about to fire.  By the way, i was aiming at Syria.  When the pictures were developed back in SIngapore, my uncle chided me cos if a Syrian sniper had taken offence and shot me, i would have no one to blame.

By the way, this was the REAL Golan Heights.  I was on a hill.  Just below the hill was the UN post guarding the border between two warring enemies.

Jerusalem was another one.  I took the traditional walk on the via Dolorosa and went to stuff my prayers in the crack of the western wall.  I also took the pre requisite trip to the Separation Wall dividing Israel from Palestinian land.  I also took another chance when i went to Bethlehem (Palestinian land) to see the church of nativity.

In going around Jerusalem, i took the public transport.  I even took a picture of the Bus 19 (another bus of the same number had been bombed just recently).  In Jerusalem, we, as in me and the volunteers from the kibbutz, had a few golden rules.

1)  If u see a sweaty man wearing a lot of bulky clothings board the bus during a hot afternoon, get out immediately.

This is true.  People have been stopped by the Israeli police based on that.

2)  Pray before u board and after u alight the bus.

Actually, only i follow it but i think many do as well.

3)  If u want to go to Jerusalem, go on Fridays.  Muslims pray on Fridays and will not bomb on that day.  Saturdays for Palestinian visits as it is the Sabbath and Jews will not attack on that day.  Sunday is free-for-all so get the hell away.

This is true.  Yassin assassination was on a Sunday.  And it sure kept me safe.

4)  Always inform someone (in the kibbutz) before ur excursion to Jerusalem and Palestine and say when u r returning.  WHen u do return, look for him and tell him u returned.

This is taken very seriously cos one never knows if u were bombed or not and we felt that it was only responsible that u inform someone when u were leaving and when u returned to give ur friends a peace of mind.  After all, this is the Israel that face bombings (even more so after Yassin's assassination) and people do die from the attacks.
« Last Edit: Oct 04, 11, 02:47 PM by Karel »

Offline bear

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« Reply #1 on: Jun 17, 06, 12:13 PM »
Someone once said to me before i left for Israel is that do not expect Israel to be very different from Singapore.  While on the news it looks like the war front, in reality it looks just like another city.  While Jews appear holy and pious, the majority could not really care less and are more focussed on things like money.

When i went there, i found this to be true.


Offline Dounut

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« Reply #2 on: Jun 18, 06, 11:38 AM »
Ai ya, news is news.  News usually reported what is value for as "News" what.  News report make you believe in what they want you to believe.  Thus, most people just believe blindly lor   :roll: