Thursday, July 08, 2010
A Biblical Scholar's First Impressions of Israel I: Tel Aviv
For the Biblical scholar in Tel Aviv, the pressure is off. No Biblical sites to see, no piles of stones to stare at and wonder over. So it is a chance to enjoy some of the other things the city offers. As well as the previously mentioned bat mitzvah, a real highlight was an evening on the beach watching the footy. You see, everyone in Israel loves their football. Even the small bars selling falafel have their TV screens showing the World Cup. Apparently business would be terrible if they did not. And on the Saturday evening, after a relaxing day at the beach, which had soft sand and some spectacular waves, we settled down in the comfortable seaside bar, and we drank Goldstar beer (Israel's own, dark lager beer, easy-drinking and quite acceptable), ate hummus and tahini, and watched the game (Ghana v. USA) on the specially erected big screens, as the waves lapped up just behind them, with our bare feet still in the sand.
Tel Aviv, though, is really a fine hub for touring Israel, a great jumping off point for getting to other locations, and of course we did not stay put there the whole time. I'll comment next time on Jaffa.