Religion & Beliefs

Birth Writing: All The Young Dudes

I wasn’t sick just yet, but in a very Israeli manner, it was a preemptive strike to secure my borders. Read More

By / February 23, 2011
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Despite a brutal lack of sleep on my journey, I actually did get some for five heavy hours; thanks in no small part to over-exhaustion and sweet, thick, raspberry tinted Israeli cold medicine; I wasn’t sick just yet, but in a very Israeli manner, it was a preemptive strike to secure my borders.

It was our final morning in Gonen. The sun slowly rose over the rows of small dormitories in our Kibbutz. This was a very special place, and like the rest of the country was slowly becoming, a place I wouldn’t soon forget.

Another night, another excuse to celebrate the very life we had been living, another round, and another and then one more for good measure. We have taught each other toasts, both ceremonious and filthy, amid uproarious laughter and swigs of convenience store scotch – describable as neither top shelf nor bottom. It’s ok. We’d settle for any shelf, really.

I had successfully taught my favorite soldier to use the word Weiner, which he does, liberally, much to my delight. Ten points.

As my Hebrew got better my English suffered. I’d adopted their lilt, their odd phrasing, their verbal commas and inflections. “You are, eh, going to come tonight, out with us, yes?” – a question so easily answerable it hardly begs asking.

Yes. Always. Anywhere.

A bus full of New Yorkers arrived at our Kibbutz last night, replacing our dear Canadian brethren; some look familiar,  as if perhaps we’d passed each other on a nature hike, or perhaps while stopped for lunch in a small hillside town. But you know us Jews – we all look the same.

It is their first night in Israel and I’m already jealous of them. Somehow a group of 15 – mostly dudes (Awesome, just what we wanted. Thanks Cody.) – Wound up in my bedroom, along with my roommates and anyone from our bus with the sense to join us, which were many.  We fraternized and roared and traded advice for news and good stories.

Our group is just large enough that the currency of a good story has a high rate of exchange and, like always, the best stories get told time and again, tweaked and refined and repeated ad nauseum to wide-eyed breathless laughter. We’ve started dipping into the memory banks for old favorites and holiday standards. We take requests.

The Process:

Step one: Build a small fire behind the eyes; tend to it, stoke it, throw more and more logs onto the flame. Invite anyone interested to come and sit with you, and let your fire warm their bodies, and light your world in yellow orange glow.

Step two: Buy the sweetest roadside honey you ever will have tasted from a gruff Israeli farmer with strange choices of facial hair. Pour it liberally over your voice, letting it drip and drizzle over each golden word that flings itself from your tongue, flowing freely into any ear open to listening.

Step three: Love everything, everyone, even the strange, especially the strange; love them until your sides hurt and your heart bursts and we’ll all get matching tattoos of our widest grins, right there on our faces where they belong.

If by now you can’t tell, I was having the time of my life.

Off next to the staggering promise that is Tel Aviv, to jam packed days in the country side, to old friends I’m surprised to find living here, to cousins I’ve missed for nearly a decade, to taking wild swings at the fast balls that are Israeli women on our first legal sanctioned ‘out night’ – which as far as I’m concerned is simply an excuse to dance, to practice my raunchiest Hebrew, to get myself in (and hopefully back out) of glorious beautiful trouble.

Enough for this entry. More to come, and more and more until you’ve stopped caring and you’re all sick of me and you just want to watch funny cat videos on YouTube.

Well, you can get bent.

Jay Judah is an aspiring producer living and working in Los Angeles. Jay twitters here, tumbls here and is a managing editor of Jewbauchery.