I like sleep. I try to get some every day. It provides a great excuse for casual misanthropes like myself to avoid undue human contact.

But lately, I find my sleep disturbed, for my mind has apparently fallen victim to that cruelest of possible degradations of the human condition: Zionist occupation.

I’ve been having dreams in Hebrew.

They’re not very interesting, to be fair. I apparently don’t know enough of the right kind of Hebrew to dream about flying or fantastic wealth or imagining yourself as a character in a Parliament album or any of those normal recurring dreams people have. Instead, my subconscious, acting as a sort of cerebral equivalent of Nick at Nite, chops us bits of whatever boring conversations I wind up having in Hebrew that weren’t even interesting at the time.

But I worry that this might be the opening chapter of an alarming trend. Having dreams in Hebrew means that I’ve been absorbing and internalizing my environment. So, now that Hebrew has entered my subconscious without any previous knowledge, could Israeli culture be far off? Will I start wearing over-tight pants? Will I start emitting a strong and unmistakeable musk? Will I smoke incessantly and carry two cellphones? Will I spend my days split between working at my uncle’s falafel stand and trying to score with impressionable and moony American girls in Israel? Will every bite of hummus bring me that much closer to a profound and unironic appreciation for the oeuvre of Men Without Hats?

Please. My friends. If you see this beginning to happen, help me. Drag me away from my cigarette and Mr. Mister tape by my excessive forearm hair and get me deprogrammed. Before it’s too late.

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  • Michael,

    Taking a break from my preparations from my final paper – I suspect Mufti understands that one.

    Anyway, I lived in Israel myself in younger years, but over time, I returned to the yiddish inflected culture of my ancestors. For me, Zionist culture was fleeting.

    And yet…there are influences that remained. I find I usually have Israelis in my life, and though they have generally spent a lot of time here, and are bi-cultural. I enjoy the caustic, strategic way they assess conflict, so refreshing to the moral one we American Jews, particularly secular Jews, so naively and frequently employ.

    Anyway. Don’t fight it. Enjoy it. I wouldn’t get to hung up on the trappings. I predict a gradual return to Diaspora norms after your return to the U.S. That is, if you return. But yeah, olives with booze is a damn good idea. As are others. But you’ll discard much of it.

    Though the cigarettes are a bitch to give up. Still working on that one.

  • michael! i didnt know you have an uncle with the falafel stand!? man! what’s wrong with you? you cant invite friends for a free falafel even once??
    btw i knew that your love for hummus will eventually lead you to your downfall. it s your fault after all! should have let me convience you that meat is good. you still have a chance – call nissim and he will take you to “halo teyman”.

  • You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

    You are now a member of the Zionist Collective.


  • When I was on a summer tour in Israel, and had madrichim trying to wake me up in the morning, they would late claim that I had entire arguments with them about why i should be allowed to sleep later, always completely in Hebrew.

  • Michael, I think the first thing you need to do is get the hell out of Jerusalem. For a few days at the very least. I fear it might be too late to help you.

  • Harry! You mamish won’t need to worry about what Jerusalem’s doing to my head until I start speaking in a spaced-out lilt peppered with random Hebrew like I’m davka doing right now and spending my Saturday nights congregating at the ice cream shop on Ben Yehuda with all my sem girlz!!!1! hoping to be swept off my feet by a fragrant man named Moshiko who wants to build a new life with me in New York.

    Speaking of getting out of Jerusalem, though, Jewlicious field trip to Dimona for Black Hebraical/nuclear funs soon. You down?

  • Yeah, let’s do that Dimona thing – though it does seem like mamish a shlepp to dovka go there just for a vegetarian meal. We can maybe shop for some shoes you think?

  • The Black Hebrews have a fairly creative vegan restaurant on Ben Yehuda street in Tel Aviv. No need to schlep to Dimona for some vegetarian “cuisine.”

  • The Black Hebrews have a fairly creative vegan restaurant on Ben Yehuda street in Tel Aviv. No need to schlep to Dimona for some vegetarian “cuisine.”

    how good is the food?
    very interesting !!