The Lost Meaning of
Remember this word, 'Shalom'?
It used to mean, Peace.
It used to be the greeting and especially the good-bye word.
Well, no more!
'Shalom' is out, like it or not.
The new word is 'Yalla-bye!'
a weird, trendy concoction of 'Yalla' (Arab for getting a
donkey to move faster)
and the English 'bye.'
So if you happen to speak with an Israeli and s/he quite absent-mindedly
ends the conversation with Yalla-bye, don't fight back. Remember
it's the most peaceful Shalom we can have around here.
Twice I've Met With Ariel Sharon and Each Meeting Was More
Fantastic Than the Other
(a long title for a short story, with no
Well, Israel not being a kingdom it's not rare to meet some
of its knights.
Yet for an Israeli humble writer to meet Sharon would be rarest
than meeting the royalty in UK. For where could she meet him?
At a rally against the invasion (we're talking Lebanon)? No
But even much earlier, here's what happened:
How I Met Ariel Sharon, #1
On the evening preceding the 1973 Yom Kippur Eve, some relatives
from South America came to tour Israel. Remember, a few days
earlier Dayan, then Minister of Defense had declared, "Never
before was Israel's situation safer!" (Another reason why
we feel so safe and trustful).
So on the night preceding the 1973 Yom Kippur Eve - a time
when the weather is still unbearably hot - we came to pay
our respects to our wealthy relatives, dressed in our best
attire, which in my case consisted of a long dress with a
So there we were at the palatial Hilton Tel-Aviv, waiting
for the elevator. And very soon indeed the click and ring
and light flashes signaled it's arrival, the doors opened,
and out comes, who if not Ariel Sharon himself. He was already
quite large and hence impossible to ignore. I looked at his
face to read what it says and indeed it spoke, actually his
eyes alone, not to me but straight to the depths of my décolleté.
We had to take the elevator so there was no time to say, Hey,
how about the depths of my spirit… The rest is his story.
How I Met Ariel Sharon, # 2
A few years later - cannot recall if it was before or after
Sabra and Shatila, The Lebanon War - the exact date was not
put on record among the multitude of dates assaulting us daily.
We were invited to a colleague's son Bar Mitzvah. As an event,
a Bar Mitzvah, when a son reaches the age of thirteen, is
second only to a wedding in its importance. If it's a colleague's
son celebration, you better attend it if you fear for your
But what if this colleague happens to be a member of the central
committee of your party? Indeed, he might be only one of some
two thousands, but still, these people are the ones who choose
the leaders. If you fear for your political life, you better
So the word spread out: Arik Sharon is amongst us. Happy hour.
I went to the buffet, put a few things on my plate, and turned
to go back to our table.
Rest assured I was still young and beautiful and so was my
I turned from the buffet with my plastic plate in my hand
and who do I see heading straight to the crowded buffet if
not, again! The same Ariel Sharon (almost, yet much greater
in stature). I looked straight at his face and again his eager
eyes spoke eloquently.
He was staring straight into my hands, at the borekas on my
Being vain I don't want even to contemplate the burning question:
What If I were to go up on that elevator at Hilton in the
same dress, yet with a plate-full of food in my hands. And
why, after so many men have peered into my décolleté and so
many others have eyed the food on my plates, why do I still
remember that one above all?
Hunger, oh Hunger, for women, for food, for power, for land,
insatiable hunger cannot but touch, or break, more than one