Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Day Off

One of my bigger adjustments to life in Israel was having Sunday as a normal working day. There was no lazing around and starting the day slowly nor was there any packing up the car and taking off for a day trip. No, it was getting the kids up and out to school and everyone else starting work like any other weekday.

As time went on I got used to it but I can’t say I didn’t miss those relaxing Sundays. So when I discovered that Election Day in Israel was a day-off I was thrilled. It became our tradition to have a family BBQ on those elections days.

Unlike in America, there’s no set Tuesday in November every leap year for voting.  Although Israel is also supposed to have elections every four years they can be called whenever the government falls or decides to dissolve. That can happen in the dead of winter, which doesn’t make for a pleasant BBQ, or any other time convenient or not.  Coalition disagreements peaked this past December and new elections were called for March 17th. I prayed that we’d have nice weather.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one using Election Day for a BBQ. When I went to our local supermarket I discovered they were totally out of pita, a food item vital for an Israeli BBQ. The same held true for the store in the nearest village. A frantic call to my daughter saved the day. Although her grocery store didn’t have any pita, either, she and her family would make a stop at a bakery halfway between their home and ours. Our BBQ was saved.

Probably my emphasis on the BBQ and not on the voting comes from my disillusionment with the whole political process. I can’t forget how happy I was when Ariel Sharon heading Likud won the elections twelve years ago with a strong thirty-eight mandate against Labor. At that time Amram Mitzna headed Labor and part of his platform was to eradicate Jewish presence in the Gaza Strip and parts of Judea and Samaria. Receiving only nineteen seats in the Knesset it was clear that the Israeli public didn’t support such a move. And then two years later, the government headed by Ariel Sharon, using his new party begun with dirty politics, expelled thousands of Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip and parts of Samaria.

Since then I don’t feel I can trust most politicians. This election I wanted to vote for the Moshiach but he wasn’t on the ballot.  I chose the best I could and prayed the elections would turn out well for the Jewish people. The following morning I was somewhat optimistic when I learned we’d be having a right-wing government. However, I have learned from the past not to put my faith in politicians, only HaShem. So I continue to pray. At the same time, I’m thankful for the nice family BBQ we had. Relaxing days-off are wonderful. It would be nice to have them more often, without elections.

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