Michael attempts to do himself in percussionally.

The Return of (What’s Left of) Michael

We here at Jewlicious have used relationship metaphors for Israel before, but I propose casting our beloved Zionist entity in a different light than the harried girl being given the run-around by that eternal malcontent of nations, Pakistan.

Israel is an abusive spouse, and I am the victim. I give Israel all my loving and the best years of my life, and it viciously assaults me. The other countries say, “Baby, you know he’s no good for you,” but I don’t listen. All Israel needs to do is say, “Girl, you know I love you, but sometimes you just make me so mad I can’t help it! But I swear, baby, I’ve changed. Now come here and let me give you some hummus.” And then I take my apron and dry the tears from my black eyes and go back to the stove and tell the US and England that I just tripped on the curb.

So yes, as you all may be aware, I’ve encountered a few problems with my post-hurricane Israeli Odyssey, dashed against the rocks of Israel, trapped between the Scylla of The 25-Year-Old-Israeli-Girl-in-Customer-Service-Who-Personally-Hates-You and the Charybdis of Israeli Post-Socialist Bureaucracy. El Al lost my luggage without a trace. The Hebrew U apparently forgot we were coming and left us standing around in the sun on Friday afternoon for a couple hours with no ID cards, rooms, or clue as to what we should be doing. I turned down a dorm room (my fault) because I was under the impression that I would be living with ck, who apparently was too busy buying Laya horchatas in LA to ensure that I was not homeless again (his fault). I was the only Hebrew U student to not receive my rental cell phone. My feet are a mess of blisters. And, for completely unknown reasons, I strained my ankle and, unless I eat approximately half my body weight in ibuprofen, I hobble around, cutting a more pitiful scene than the guys who make a living being pitiful for people’s shekels on Ben-Yehuda. Except nobody throws money at me. And the icing on the cake, the fuul on the hummus if you will, is that everybody thinks it’s really, really funny. In the words of Laya, who admittedly is being kind enough to house me in the cozy environs of Chateau Laybecca until I stop being homeless, “It wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t happening to you.” Thanks, Laya. Apparently misery is a scream as long it’s Michael’s.

But perhaps things are looking up. I got my luggage back today, seemingly none the worse for wear. ck claims he’s found me a place to live until November. And so far, I haven’t got food poisoning and thrown up in any girls’ rooms, which is definitely an improvement over last summer. And I now have easy access to hummus and cashew Nok-Out ice cream bars, which have been scientifically proven in a Hebrew University study to be the best things ever created by the hand of man. So I’m allowing myself to feel a rare bit of optimism. And, newly endowed with clean clothes so I can finally change, I’ve composed a little something that I think you should all say on Yom Kippur. Put it in the Amidah, maybe instead of that dew/rain thing, ‘cuz that’s gonna happen whether you ask for it or not.

ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר נתן למיכאל את הבגדים שלו ואת ×””סוני פלייסטיישן 2″ שלו והושיע אותו מהידיים של הרשעים באל על ובמדינת ישראל

I’ll let TM translate, it seems to make him happy.

In the meantime, if you’re in Jerusalem and you see me, give me a shout-out. I’m the one in the Maccabi Tel Aviv T-shirt sobbing into my sabikh.

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  • Wah Wah Wah! My name’s Michael and I like to complain a lot! My foot hurts and I’m homeless! Wah!

  • hehehe…Leave poor Mikey alone. Though, look at the pics in the post below and it’s hard to think that your God has dealt you such a bad hand.

  • And by proletariat, I of course mean Flannery Eileen Magdalene Jew-lovin’ Black Irish Catholic school girl recently of New Orleans, Louisiana…don’t I, Barney?

  • Does anyone remember the story of Job? I try to remember it when my life sucks, and mine does. Though I haven’t had to wait out in the sun for hrs with a sprained limb. At CUNY colleges we’re used to long lines and red tape so it doesn’t phase.

  • The Jewish Mother-to-be (g-d willing) in me is sobbing with you. May you be renewed for a wonderful year of knowing where you’re living and having the clothes you left home with. G’mar chatimah tovah.

  • One could thing about Israel is you can crash anywhere. Once I took a trip to Eilat on a plan of hitching there and maybe back. I got as far as Beer Sheva late at night so I walked around found some high school, walked in and fell asleep on the floor. A night watchman actually walked past me in the middle of the night, said hello, started rapping. I then took a bus the next morning, slept on the beach, met 2 German girls, but I will end here.

  • I guess I’ve lost editing abilities again.

    Michael, have you considered telling Hebrew U your sob story? Maybe they can still find a dorm room? People do move out sometimes, you know.

  • Well, now that I have a place lined up, I’d much rather live there than in a dorm. Besides, yo, I’ve got too much pride to, like, go up to Director of Student Life Moti Butbul and be like, “Hey Moti, your fifth cousin or whatever left me in the lurch and I need a dorm.”

  • Ahh, but that’s the beauty of Israel. Moti is sure to help you out because even though you’re a pasty white kinda Jew, he feels you’re a brother.

  • You have been through a lot of stress with the hurricane. That’s why I didn’t think you needed the added stress of moving to Israel right away. You could’ve done a year some place serene and calm and dry and safe here and then gone off to Israel after recouping alittle. I don’t know why you were in such a rush to leave. I think it was peer pressure. People who put take themselves out of the frying pan and put themselves into the fire really have no right to kvetch. There are times in life, and you can quote me on this, thatt “TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT IS BEST!” Hope things go easier for you there and all your goals are accomplished.

  • Chutzpah, it’s a perfect age to be there. He’ll have a great time. Heck, he lost his luggage and twisted an ankle. Let’s keep things in perspective around here.

  • If he were my son, I’d want him in the US (preferrably home) for one semester after surviving a hurricane before leaving the country. But that’s just the Jewish Mother in me.

  • Michael, if you were my son, I would be that annoying mother that people roll their eyes at because of the annoying mother tendency to start every sentence with ‘my son in israel..blah blah blah’. Sure, you were homeless, injured, and without clothing, but in future years if you are ever at a party or on a blind date and there is an uncomfortable silence, you can start up with all your crazy Israel stories from this year. Plus, being in the Promised Land must be quite fulfilling. But that’s just the (future) Jewish Mother in me talking.

  • Michael, i only thought it was funny cause i saw this future funny post turning in your head. See now? I was right!

    I’m sorry my boy, I don’t mean to be callous, but it was like if things kept going wrong, I was expecting locusts. But in any case, I hope the couch-bed is comfy. You remain welcome anytime.

  • Ladies, ladies, ladies, please, don’t fight, all y’all can be my mama.

    I think the root of Chutzpah and TM’s disagreement is that they don’t have a shared Israel experience. At around my age, TM was probably getting laid in the janitor’s closet in the Frank Sinatra building, whereas Chutzpah was probably in a skirt being convinced by an enthusiastic rav that if she didn’t burn that Journey record and live the life of good cholent-cooking bas yisroel with a pure neshomeh, her eternal soul was going straight to Gehinnom. 😛

    So I mean, I can see the reason for the different ideas of when one should be in Israel.

    Michael loves you all, you nudniks!

  • Michael, How long have you been in Israel? Your experience does not sound unusual.

    Being that Israel was desert 50 years ago I am very proud of our Country.

    As far as things not going our way…

    A popular observation states, “Nothing is as easy as it looks. Everything takes longer than you expect. And if anything can go wrong, it will, at the worst possible moment.” When you are mentally prepared for events (without being nervous or anxious), you will find them much easier to cope with. If you always expect things to work out the way you wish, ask yourself what is the basis for your expectations. When you realize there is no basis for your expectations you will find it easier to give them up.

  • I totally empathise: Kenya has been trying to kill me for the last three years, and in the last 5 months the heat’s been turned up. Hopefully i’ll live; you, certainly will. The worst is over; trust me, am psychic – i hope.

  • middle –i saw it.

    dina–my son? don’t you mean our son? what was all that get married and make babies talk?

    joy–if kenya was a hitman, never would I ever employ him. my psychic darling, perhaps kenya will win?

    michael–how white is ck? and ill be in israel in december so we should definitely kick it. i know this great shawarma place, somewhere in the middle, you know, that area.

  • Dude, and I was just saying to Laya, “I wanna hang out with Encino Yeled.”

    We’re going to kick it like jeet kune do. For real.

    ck…well, there are pictures of him. I just remember this one time at this cute little hummus place in Machaneh Yehuda, he was protesting the inclusion of onions in the shakshuka, and the waiter says, “What would an Ashkenazi know about shakshuka?”

    I want to take a Jewlicious field trip to Kenya. We’ll stay in Joy’s apartment and tame giraffes for our own nefarious purposes. Hey, are gazelle kosher?

  • I’m not quite so sure about this nefarious business, but as long as we can ride them without getting bitten, (because I hear those mofos do bite) then I’m all for it.

    I might be wrong, but isn’t jeet kune doo Bruce Lee’s fighting style? I read this conspiracy book on celebrity murders and I think that was his. yep, i’m quite quite sure. Did you know that Lee was also the Cha Cha Cha champion of Hong Kong? And that he drank cow’s blood and did thumb pushups? no wonder that goy dropped dead one day.

    regarding ck, I think both positions are valid, that of the waitress and the white boy customer. Onions? And Ashekenzai complaining?

    Have an easy fast, if that’s still a looming possibility, m’man.

    What the hell are you, (am I) supposed to eat before the fast? no carbs, right? I gotta go call my mom.

  • What’s it like to meet a blogger in person? Is it like running into the office hook up at the coffee machine and always churns out semi burnt coffee?

    I guess I’d like all of your opinions on this. And when I mean all, I mean ck, laya, michael, esther, muffti, middle, and your all time favorite, mobius. You seem to run into all these fools at the most unexpected times, like jewish festivals.

  • Encino: Kenya has failed to kill me not for a lack of effort, or ingenuity but because of the simple fact that am so freaking hard to kill me: She’s even sent me her most brilliant assasins(aka my x boyfriends) to no avail….Michael, brilliant idea; in fact i’ll start an animal farm in my back yard right away. Seriously though if your boy(Israel) doesn’t let up, take a break and come over. Out of sight out of mind. Oops, i meant to say absence makes the heart grow fonder :-)!

  • OK I can’t take it anymore. Joy will you be my Jewlicious girlfriend. I won’t take no for an answer. I mean, I will, but I’d rather not.

    I promise I won’t ever visit you in Kenya. Unless, we’re serious about riding the giraffes.

  • Yes. No. I mean, eh, yes but i must play hard to get first. (Activating hard to get mode)
    Let me check out the plethora of people asking me to be their girlfriend.(tick tock, tick toc – 3 seconds max) Am exhausted and none measures up to you, so yes encino, i’d be delighted.

    Giraffes, can’t promise that. How about camels? We are no Bedouins but we too have camels :-). If that won’t do, then i’ll set about taming a giraffe, but i’d rather not.

  • Encino, you know that place between love and madness? Or that feeling you get from watching the Surreal Life, or staying up all night until you’re bleary? That’s what it’s like to meet a blogger in person. Enjoy your first time…

  • You’ve revealed my secret identity! That’s a threat to national security! Condi’s gonna be all over your ass. In a non-seductive way. Either way, it’s still nasty.

  • Geez, can we pile it up any thicker, Chutzpah? Being the actual mother of Michael (yes, every mother should be so lucky) I solemnly swear that I never neglected my motherly duties. Michael is a big boy and can take care of himself. We only live once, especially at 20.

  • Yes but couldn’t you spot him a few bucks so he could stay in a hotel for a few days. Jesus, even my kids would do that.

  • Like we would allow Michael to stay in a cold impersonal hotel! Michael has friends in Jerusalem who would simply not allow that. Better he should save his money for hummus.

  • Jeez, Joy, the Muffti thought we had something going and now you are running off with the yeled from Encino? Heartbreaker…

  • Congrats on getting your feet on the ground -er, maybe off the ground (blisters sound no fun) – there and getting your luggage. I hope school doesn’t go as badly as you’ve started off, so far.
    גמר חתימה טובה,

  • Muffti, I’m only a yeled from the waist up.

    And no one can resist the San Fernando Valley passion. A land of rude Israelis, Chabadniks, Malls, and very little else.

  • Oh, you’re wrong there, Encino Yeled, LA – and this especially includes the Valley – is the city of dreams. Where you see a wasteland, others see a land of opportunity.

  • So you’ve been in the area and didn’t even think of calling me? Rude. Next time you’re up here we’ll get ice cream and go rollerblading.

    And wine tasting…Lord, don’t you know I live in Santa Barbara now?

  • Muffti is well aware of the needs of a woman. That’s why Muffti long ago educated himself in the art of pleasing a woman by…wait, are we talking about the same thing?

  • michael, glad you got your luggage.

    I guess I’ll see ya when I get back to campus (and the aretz) at the end of October.

  • Michael, you’ve got it almost exactly right. I was 24 when my brain turned to cholent. My point was not at what age you go to Israel, but how soon after living through the worst natural disaster in American history. I don’t think a few weeks is enough time to process the enormity of what you’ve seen. It’s good you are focusing on moving forward and starting anew, but I would’ve wanted my feed my son chicken soup in front of the t.v. while he watched cartoons if he just went through that, no matter what age he was. I think you’re Mom is cooler than me, even though I’m about to start screwing a guy about your age again… my soldier’s got two more weeks preventing looting in New Orleans and then he comes marching home!!!! So you can all be on the look out for a kinder, more relaxed and less angry Chutzpah in the coming weeks. G’mar Tov!

  • chutzpah, it’s potential mothers like you who are responsible for the milquetoasts of this world. also it seems pretty ridiculous of you to persist in forcing michael to come to terms with his “trauma” when his own mother has told you to step off.

  • Michael, if you were the Muffti’s son, he’d take you out drinking, discuss some theology (that you understand much better than he does), try to get you to eat some alligator and then show you how one can find women who will exchange beads for, you know, stuff. Wait, Muffti already did that! Good thing. No son of the Muffti is gonna be a milquetoast!

  • I assure you my children will be anything but milquetoast, Chutzpah runs in their dna. 148 of his fellow Tulane classmates will be getting a real education at my alma mata, Cornell.

  • That presumes one gets a superior “real education” at any college as opposed to moving to another country, learning about its culture, studying in arguably its finest university with numerous world class faculty, and existing in one of the most intense societies one can find in the West.

    Nothing wrong with Cornell, but in my experience, the least mature students coming to and ultimately returning from Israel were those who came from these lovely American colleges. Based on Michael’s writing over the past several months, I’m afraid he might have a tad more depth to him than some of those students.

    The beautiful thing is that we can all think differently and expres these thoughts openly.

  • i too object to the implication that Hebrew U can’t provide “a real education.”

  • Of course, she is not an active Zionist that is why she made those anti- going to Israel now bubbe meises. Many American Jews are like that. Israel is not the real thing to them, ‘Only in America’ is their mentality. It’s not a knock on them, it’s how they were brought up. They did their year or so studying in a BT place, now it’s back to the real world, real great jobs and careers, again, only in America.

  • It’s an absurd comment. The School of Overseas Studies is populated with some superb professors and has been for decades. The rest of the university is world class.

    They have produced 2 Israeli Prime Ministers, 2 Presidents and 5 Nobel Laureates. While Cornell has produced 29 Nobel Laureates, it is an older school and one of the top ranked schools in a nation with 50 times Israel’s population.


  • Just being a little chutzpahdik, not implying that Hebrew U. isn’t a real education. And,as an active Zionist, I would love to see Jobber move to Israel. I object to the implication that Katrina was not a trauma. As a card-carrying member of the human race, I’d say it was.

  • #56 TM
    Yeah, yeah, yeah… But how many Chutzpahs did Hebrew U produce? Huh?

  • i didn’t imply katrina wasn’t a trauma. for many people it was and is. i think michael would agree that he is blessed to have come out of the disaster unscathed, comparatively. michael, are you traumatized?

  • Just ask his mother that.

    Michael, do any of your siblings blog? Cousins, uncles, aunts, great aunts, the aunt you don’t talk to you, the uncle that smells bad, the uncle that no one really knows but lack the heart to tell him to go away? Just wondering.

  • Whoo. Geez. I take a little break and everybody starts debating my life choices. My ears, they are burning.

    I don’t know. I love Israel. I love it more than Wisconsin, more than New Orleans and certainly a whole hell of a lot more than Ithaca, New York. So when presented the chance of studying for free in a place that, despite its many attempts to kill me and/or rob me of my sanity, I love, I’m going to take that chance over suffering through an upstate New York winter in a place that means nothing to me personally just so I can say “I went to an Ivy League school for three months!” Ultimately, it may not be the most rational impulse, but then again, if Zionism, or simply Ahavat Yisrael for that matter, demanded rationality, it never would have gotten off the ground.

    As far as my trauma, well, suffice it to say that my first week in Israel caused me much more direct trauma than Hurricane Katrina. I mean, yeah, I lived in New Orleans, and I’m upset about what happened to it, but it’s not like I wake up at night screaming. I’m young. I’m flexible. It’s not like I’m 45, have a job, a house and four kids that all got blown away. A job and an empty apartment can be replaced.

    Maybe we can put it all a different way. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that I am indeed traumatized. So what’s better for my emotional state: to go to a country that is, even at its most irritating, consistently fascinating, has great hummus and a powerful emotional draw, not to mention the finest ladies on the face of the planet…OR…to spend three months being absolutely miserable because it’s 15 degrees outside with two feet of snow, in a place without good hummus?

    I’ve made my choice, and I stand by it.

    TM, you’re right about the American kids at HU. But I guess that sort of American student abroad bull-in-china-shop syndrome would be endemic to any study abroad program.

    Amechad – let me know when you’re around. The hummus is totally on me.

    Yeled: I have no siblings. What, if you had a child like me, would you be brave enough to try again?

  • Oh Michael! I also want to discuss your life choices and be telling you how you are suppose to live your life but this post and its comments are already too long for me too read. I cant find you hanging around downtown either so when you are up for a beer find me on aol.
    and ck is little like a big sister to me too.

  • hey, Michael, how come Muffti doesn’t get a shout out? He feels like he’s had a hand in raising you too! 🙂

  • Michael, I concede, I’m still traumatized by Ithaca winters. So I guess my Soldier will be ok when he gets back from New Orleans too. In the meanwhile, I’ll try to stop having the nightmares of deadbodies floating by me…they are probably coming from Speilberg’s War of the Worlds and not Katrina.

  • Chutzpah calls me a loser day and night. And you allow it on your blog.

    *NOTE* Contents deleted by site admin

    Now go ahead and delete this post, but leave hers on where she makes unprovoked attacks on Jobber, Peace

    Jobber: You’re fine when you are not posting about Chutzpah. Chutzpah only attacks you when you attack her. So my assumption is that if you ignore each other, we’ll be fine. Have rachmanus dude, we don’t get paid for this and we don’t have time to babysit the both of you. I hate banning people. Please don’t make me do it. Your comment was eviscerated btw, because you released too many personal details about a commentor. Not cool dude. Oh yeah and the offensive name calling didn’t help either. Please stop!

  • Jobber/Avigdor, if I see any more posts like this on any of my threads, they’re going to get deleted. So either grow up and shut up, or go away.

    ybocher, did someone say drinks? Yo dude, I’m always around. My number is 052 420 1074. Gimme a shout.

    Muffti, I figured you would know that I hold you in such lofty esteem that giving you something so mundane as a simple shout-out just wouldn’t cut it. I mean, come on! 😛

    Hey, I’m on Ben Yehuda taking advantage of free wireless and some dude just walked by in a Challah Hu Akbar T-shirt. Wild, yo. Wild.

  • thanks team…I’ll be busy learning how to navigate the intricasies of the new Jdate site for awhile. I’m highly insulted that they didn’t ask me to beta test it and already found numerous bugs.

  • Awww, Michael, Muffti knows that. But it’s still nice to hear once in a while, dude. The feeling is of course mutual buddy.

    Until when are you in the Holy Land? Muffti is thinking about another Mardi Gras trip this year. What say you?

  • Avigdor: I will try to be more balanced and even handed in the future, I promise, ok? Let me know if you think I am not. Can we move along now and get over this?