Friday, August 29, 2008

"Hava Nagila" made in Lebanon

A few months ago, I was invited to dinner at a friend’s house. We were a bunch of good friends who often gather on week-ends instead of hanging out in night clubs.
After dinner, I proposed to one of the guest, a very dear doctor friend, to play the piano.

Before I go on with my story I would like to elaborate on this guy: When we first started meeting at diner parties or in restaurants we had always the same political point of views. One evening, the discussion was about Israel. Of course there were the attackers who would love to see the Jewish state vanish forever, and me, backed up by my Dr friend, who defended it with all the passion I had in me.

I was really happy that evening to find someone as fervent as I am. When I questioned him about his enthusiasm, he said that he admires the Jewish people for their strength and their determination. He is even working on signing a petition to renovate the Lebanese synagogue. I was startled. I had to tell him about me. And I did.
Since that day, we have a special complicity.

So that evening, I asked my Dr friend to play the piano. He decided that he will play a song for each one of us to sing along. There was the “lullaby” to the sleepy friend, Madonna’s “material girl” for the fashion victim etc… then came my turn. He winked and played “hava nagila” and he sang along. I laughed nervously. No one understood what it was. Then he switched to “hatikva”. He didn’t know the words but played it till the end. I sang in my heart. It was a very moving moment.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fashion Kills...

My entourage is a “jet-set”, “high society” one. And when there is jet-set, there is fashion.
I mean I consider myself as a fashion addict. But never a fashion victim…
What is wrong with all these girls, walking around with Palestinian scarves? The kaffiyeh comes now in different colors: blue, red, mauve, pink… does anyone understand the meaning of these scarves? Do they know what they are wearing? the symbole of it? Or is it a feature of the high society, to be brainless?
Never a fashion victim….


Sometimes I sit in the midst of a crowd and I think: here I am, a Jew, who is learning Torah, who is learning how to speak and read Hebrew, and who loves Israel… what am I doing here? Is it really hostile grounds? But these people around me are my friends…
Would they still be my friends if they knew who I really am? Do I want to continue living in the shadows, hiding my biggest pride?


The summer is almost over. Lebanese are rejoicing. They had a wonderful summer: tourism was blooming, restaurants and hotels were full, night clubs took in double the capacity of clubbers, beaches were invaded.
After 2 summers of frustrations ( the Israel-lebanon war in 2006, and the nahr el bared war in 2007), Lebanese wanted to celebrate. And to celebrate, there is nothing better than the fireworks… nostalgia?
I wonder if anyone is keeping an eye on what Hezbollah is planning for the coming months for this country… are they serious? A deal with the salafists??? there is something really wrong here...