My 12 hour layover in Amsterdam also included a trip to the much less introspective Rijksmuesum (which sounds a little too close to a Reich’s Museum, and makes one wonder which Reich that would be). Even though 90% of the enormous museum was closed for renovations (which they don’t tell you until after you pay), what they still had open was massively impressive.

Among the awesomeness was Rembrandt’s “The Loving Couple” more commonly known as “The Jewish Bride”, the painting you see behind me (now class, notice her hand accepting his touch on her Jewish boobie”), a long standing favorite piece of mine from that era.

Other interesting aspects of my trip included sitting next to a nice man from Afghanistan on the plane to Amsterdam, a proposal to bear the children of a man from Tunisia who owns a fruit stand and talking to a young man from Switzerland on the second leg of the journey. He told me how it is still taboo in Switzerland for him to even mention that he is Jewish, and I realized how fully American my Jewish experience really has been.

This, of course, was after having to be at the gate D3 two hours before the KLM flight to Tel Aviv departed. Why so early? I’m glad you asked. Because for Tel Aviv flights only, not for any flights to Kabul or Tehran, each passenger goes through a second wave of EL AL-style security, on top of the security everyone in the airport already went through. Because it’s an understood fact in the world that Jews are a target. And this is from the Dutch, where the Hague is, as if the message was “if you want to blow up Jews, that’s your own business, but don’t do it on one of our planes”.

In any case, after way too many hours of travel time, and a dozen more stories, I finally crawled into my own bed in Jerusalem at 4am, thinking what an amazing thing that was to have; a little space in the land of Israel that I could come home to.

About the author

Laya Millman

17 Comments

  • “…thinking what an amazing thing that was to have; a little space in the land of Israel that I could come home.” Beautiful end to an interesting stop over.

  • “…thinking what an amazing thing that was to have; a little space in the land of Israel that I could come home.” Beautiful end to an interesting stop over.

  • Muffti is a little concerned; Laya, why do you always look like you are somewhere between pissed off and really bored in pictures?

  • I disagreew with Muffti’s assessment, the Laya she doth smile often in the pixels. This particular image, however, is definitely kinda Dutch.

  • In the Rijksmuseum I hope you saw Rembrandt’s painting of Yimiyahu crying over the Beit Ha Mikdash Churban, that is an awesome amazing scene there. are they still doing renovations there in the Rijksmuseum? I stayed near there last time by a friend who owns a gallery in that area.

  • Reich/Rijk (from Wikipedia):

    Reich is the German word for “realm” or “empire”, cognate with Scandinavian rike and Dutch rijk. It is the word traditionally used for a variety of sovereign entities, including Germany in many periods of its history. It is also found in the compound Königreich (“kingdom”) and in the country names Frankreich (France, literally the “Realm of the Franks”) and Österreich (Austria, the “Eastern Realm”).

  • …thank you, ephraim, I was just going to say that RIJK menas nothing more than ‘realm’ or kingdom, to be more accurate. And since the Netherlands ARE in fact a kingdom (mot to everyone’s liking…), there is nothing strange or fishy or nazi-ish abouth that term. It is the museum of the kingdom of the Netherlands, that’s all.

    With the risk of sounding like a total moron, Laya, I have to say that I find this piece a bit…off, ehm..I know I might sound like a stupid little dutch princess trying to defend my country, but what you said about those KLM flights, it just isnt true. El Al has the same hard core security checks when you fly to Te Aviv. It has nothing to do with the Dutch, it has everything to do with the fact you are flying to/from Israel.

    And about the rain and the cold…oh well..It is definately fall here now. It always starts early and seems to never stop. Sigh.

    Have you been anywhere else beside the rijksmuseum en het anne frankhuis? Maybe smoked a nice reefer and took a stroll through our lovely red light district, de wallen? 😉

  • Amsterdam. Oy. Nice city, loads of fun. Can’t say more for fear of incriminating myself. Dutch Jews have this uncanny tendancy to dissappear. Where is Arnold Blits? Where is Philip Van Perlstein? Get in touch with me you bums!

    Whatever. Coincidentally, today the Dutch choo choo people apologized for the first time for their role in the deportation of 100,000 Jews to Nazi death camps during WWII. Read the story here, on the BBC.

  • As a Swiss jew I must tell you that it is nonsense what the guy you met told you. Maybe he is afraid to tell it to the people or he lives in a rural area where people have almost no clue what a jew is, but it is for sure not taboo. Of corse, as in most parts of the world (to a lesser extend also in the US) there is also in Switzerland anti-Semitism. In contrary to the US for example it also not too common that people wear their kippa at work, same thing for me for example but everybody in the company knows that I’m jewish (how can you not when you leave at 3pm on winter friday afternoons, never it at functions, etc) and if there are social events such as x-mas dinner I always wear the kippa and even get kosher food…

  • CK, Muffti just wants to know, why do the Dutch have a museum dedicated to a brand of toothpaste?

  • This comment is going to sound so silly, but I like your use of the word “awesomeness”in your article. It’s a word I use frequently, and I don’t see it used too often. Rembradnt created beautiful work. I am glad you have a little place in Jerusalem all to yourself.

  • Who is this CK that is looking for me ? You can see I have not disappeared……

  • ariela, With El Al we are protecting our own. But I sure don’t think that the extra KLM security was there out of compassion for the Jew, or the desire to protect us. Like I said, they don’t seem to care so much if terrorism or Nazis kill Jews, just please, not on their planes.

    griesi, i am admittedly ignorant of the modern European Jewish experience, but I’m glad to hear it’s not like that everywhere.

  • Somebody get TBI some water, the Haterade is taking over his/her system!
    Laya, not that something so petty like that comment would bother you, but rest assured you are one beautiful jewish woman!

    I’m up for an internship in germany, i’m interested to meet and participate in the Jewish community there…but I can tell you the Italian jews are mighty proud of being jewish despite being in the center of Roman catholicism.

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