web analytics
May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


An American Odyssey (Part 1)


Gilor-Dov

Israelis love to travel, and after being an Israeli for some 38 years, we, too, have learned to love traveling. My wife, Barbara, and I recently decided to take a six-week trip with my brother, Avi, and his wife, Martha, across the United States. We loaded up their van in Florida and took off for California.

I did the planning while we were still in Israel via the AAA Internet site. This site not only provides detailed maps but also lists and describes the many attractions along our route. You can plan your route, receive suggestions for alternate roads, map out the sites you want to visit and determine mileage and time estimates (which turned out to be fairly accurate). The Internet also enabled me to find almost all of the Jewish communities in our path and to contact them to ask about the available facilities in each community.

There is a great deal of planning required when Orthodox Jews wish to travel for several weeks on the road. Kosher food was a major requirement, as was home hospitality for Shabbat. We carried prepackaged meals with us, but whenever we could get a good kosher meal in a kosher restaurant (no matter what the cost), we celebrated. Not too many communities had regular daily minyanim, but when we could, we joined them.

One of the nicest parts of the trip was visiting Jewish communities across America. I contacted each community we planned to visit and offered to meet the community and speak about Israel, usually in return for home hospitality. When we contacted a non-Orthodox community, we only asked for sleeping arrangements and explained that we carried our own food supply. I hope to write several articles about the wonderful people we met, about the exciting places we visited, and about the adventures we had. I highly recommend this type of trip to anyone who has the time and energy for it.

We travelled through some 22 states, several of which we had never visited before, despite having been born and having lived in America for the first 35 years of our lives. The saddest thing we noted was the very small number of travelers on the roads (even though we took the trip during vacation time). We also noticed a large number of empty stores in some major cities. The economic downturn this past year has had a major impact on many of the cities and attractions we visited. We usually called the motel we wished to spend the night at sometime in the early afternoon and not once did we have to call more than one motel to find rooms. Not once did we get caught in a traffic jam, nor did we ever find an attraction that was crowded.

We, of course, flew from Israel to the U.S. on El Al. We try to always use our own national airline and, baruch Hashem, are usually very satisfied with the service and the security. Another interesting thing we found was the truth to the motto that I made up, “When all else fails, call Chabad!” Wherever we went in America, Chabad was there to help us find kosher facilities or to provide a Shabbat environment, even in the middle of the wilderness. The Chabad Internet sites were also very helpful in each state.

Before flying down to Florida, we spent two weeks in New York, We purchased much of our food supply, visited our good friends, and prepared for six weeks on the road. While in Brooklyn, we spent a delightful morning attending the 50th anniversary of our graduation from Brooklyn College. Both Barbara and I graduated the same year and were invited by the college to their commencement, where we marched with some 60 other surviving graduates of 50 years ago, in our gold caps and gowns, to the cheers of the more than 3,000 graduates of today. When we attended back in the 1950’s, there were many Orthodox students, so the college supplied kosher food at the breakfast that was part of this event. The class spokeswoman at this year’s graduation was a Muslim Rhodes scholar who wore a head covering, emphasizing the huge change between the students of 50 years ago and today’s college population. Before we left the campus, we stopped in at the Brooklyn College Hillel Foundation where we had first met. The entire day turned out to be a very nostalgic reunion.

 

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “An American Odyssey (Part 1)”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
PA flag at soccer game.
Pro-Palestinian Protesters Invade FIFA Congress
Latest Indepth Stories
Keeping-Jerusalem

For a peace treaty with the PA, half the Israeli public would agree to divide the Jerusalem

As for the president’s new, softer tone vis-à-vis Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel, this is most likely being driven by the results of the recent Israeli election.

What especially appeals to us is his grand – some critics would say extravagant –view of what the borders of Israel should look like.

There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.

The establishment of Hebrew University was a cause much beloved to Einstein who in 1923, during what would be his only trip to Eretz Yisrael, delivered the university’s inaugural lecture on Har Hatzofim (Mt. Scopus) and, discussing the theory of relativity, spoke the first few sentences of his address in Hebrew.

The Golden Square wanted Germany to destroy the British and Jewish presence in their country. The Third Reich craved what was beneath the ground – oil.

Ida Nudel’s account of how the Soviets persecuted and punished her was far worse than imagined.

Swim4Sadna is an annual event benefiting Sadna, an integrative special-ed community in Gush Etzion

Prof. Wistrich, was THE foremost historian of anti-Semitism; committed spokesman & advocate of Jewry

Jewish Voices for Peace’s 2015 Haggadah is a blatant anti-Israel screed crying, “L’chayim to BDS!”

On his shloshim, I want to discuss a term I’ve heard countless times about Rav Aharon: Gedol HaDor

After obsequious claims of devotion to Israel, Obama took to criticizing Israel on peace process

Mr. Obama, Israeli voters have democratically chosen to apply Israeli sovereignty over Judea&Samaria

Netanyahu so disdains Shaked’s appointment he completely ignored her after the swearing-in ceremony

More Articles from Dov Gilor
Gilor-Dov

There are also many fringe parties such as Ale Yarok (Green Leaf – supports legalizing marijuana), Bezchutan – Haredi women, We Are All Friends Party, Green’s Party, Pirate Party, Ohr Party, Protecting Our Children Party, Finance Party, Hatikva LeShinui, Democratura, Perach, etc., etc., etc.

Gilor-Dov

We created an organization of former Bnei Akiva of North America members who have fulfilled the dream of living in Eretz Yisrael.

An example of our own self-imposed weakness is the Israeli attitude towards the Holy Temple Mount.

Spies who caused American deaths and worked for enemy states received lighter sentences than Pollard.

The cleansing of Europe of its non-Muslim population will be accomplished in another two or three generations.

The Drama Mamas are not an ordinary theater troupe. “When we audition actresses,” says Elisheva, who also serves as the show’s director, “we like to explain to them that the main qualification is that you can honestly say, I have never been on a stage before, but I have always wanted to be an actress!”

It really is time for painful sacrifices for peace. No one wants his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to suffer the pangs of war and strife. It is time to end the strife and make peace in the Middle East.

Israel is a country that understands security concerns. Many civil rights have been sacrificed in the name of security and Israelis are used to being checked every time they enter a shopping center, a large store or any public building. Americans recently learned that they, too, are subject to many checks on their most private activities.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/focus-israel/an-american-odyssey/2011/12/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: