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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

61 Years of Gastronomic Miracles

Time flies while you're having fun!

This is why we've come to expect so much from our tiny little baby state (I think 62 years old is the national equivalent of a kindergartner), and why this post is going up so many days after Israel's 61st Independence Day.

I just wanted to share a little thought I had at the makolet (small grocery store)the day before Yom HaAtzmaut.

Before I begin, let me just say that makolets are the intellectual breeding grounds of many Israeli women. A lot of socializing, informational exchange, and checkout-line-thinking-time happens in those locales, making the makolet one of the revolutionary thought centers of Israel.

The day before the holiday celebrating the erection of a Jewish State, I joined the throngs to procure charcoal, chicken, marshmallows, and french fries, standard celebratory fare for Israel's most beloved barbecue holiday (soon to be replaced by Pesach, G-d willing!).

After elbowing a lady in the eye to get the last bag of mehadrin pink and white marshmallows (I will never understand strawberry marshmallows - sue me for my white-only Exile mentality), I toed up to the long line of shoppers waiting to leave with sacks full of party food.

For a moment, I wanted to be irritated. "Oh man, another 25 minute grocery line?! Give me a break," I thought.

Then I had two realizations which filled my heart.

1. 61 years ago, there were only about 645,000 Jews in the entire country, barely enough to fill one Mister Zol (ok, a little more than enough) - now there are over 5.5 million. It's a miracle there are so many Jews to stand in line before me at the store.

2. 61 years ago, I wouldn't be purchasing 85% of the things in my cart for one of two reasons: 1. the item wouldn't be available, or 2. it would be so expensive, I would never dream of using my ration cards to obtain it.

With these thoughts in mind, my trip to the makolet transformed from a source of annoyance to a joy of Zionist patriotism. Standing in that line, I felt a surge of a gratitude, and pride in the beeping of the bar code reader and clinking of change in the cash register.

Israel is on the up on up, just gearing itself up to exceed our most terrific expectations. May you be blessed to get nachas from the process of Israel's growth, in every situation, whether you score the last bag of marshmallows or not.

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  • At 7:20 AM , Blogger rutimizrachi said...

    Nice lesson in re-framing, Malkah. As they say, you can't control the situation -- the only thing you have any power over is how you deal with it. Attitude is nearly everything.


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