web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » Sections » Travel »

An Italian Experience

Flancbaum-020113-Piazza

I find travel difficult. I am not crazy about flying, to say the least, and I am most happy and comfortable staying close to hearth and home. On the other hand, my husband, Lou, has an astounding amount of boyish curiosity and an unending desire to see new places.

Debby and Lou Flancbaum

Debby and Lou Flancbaum

One of his favorite sayings is: “It’s a big world out there.” So, when Lou brought up the idea of ten days in Italy on a kosher bus tour, I thought of a million reasons why a trip to Loch Sheldrake would be a better option. I imagined myself happily cuddled up with a book on our screened-in porch, reading about Jewish life in Rome, Florence and

Venice. But, this time he prevailed upon me. “None of our kids are having babies this

Summer, our mothers are Baruch Hashem holding their own and we are young enough and healthy enough to do it.” What could I say? I booked the trip and we packed our bags only three weeks before our scheduled departure.

Even if I am not too keen on getting to our destinations, I do enjoy planning a trip. But since we arranged this holiday so last minute, my total focus was on finding comfortable shoes and a hat with SPF protection. We kind of glanced at a guidebook on the Shabbat before we left, but decided to leave this trip up to chance.

Flancbaum-020113-LouWe left JFK in the midst of a horrible thunderstorm and spent six hours out of an eight and a half hour flight in non-stop turbulence. I took three Dramamine, yet every time the plane rock and rolled, I felt queasy. I told Lou that this would be my last trip anywhere—EVER! After what seemed like an eternity, our plane landed safely in Rome. We met our Israeli tour guide and well-known journalist, Michael Tuchfeld, who schlepped us and the twenty other folks on the tour to the awaiting bus. Hungry, tired, hot and dirty, I certainly was in no mood for the news that our bus was broken and that a new one would arrive—–eventually. Rome is exceedingly hot and humid in August, so Michael cheerfully bought us ice-cold bottles of water. I glared at my husband.

Finally, we got on the road and I believed that I would get a cold shower and a hot meal post haste. The itinerary clearly stated, “day of leisure in Rome.” Apparently, though, Michael had not read our day’s schedule or he had a different interpretation of the word “leisure.”Flancbaum-020113-Museum

On the ride into Rome, I began to soften. Even I could not resist the incredible beauty of this ancient city, and the promise of gelato later in the day. I was overwhelmed by the grandeur of the Coliseum and awe struck by the beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica. Our first stop was the Jewish Ghetto. I was shocked to see how small an area had housed Rome’s entire Jewish population (along with Jews from other parts of Italy and Spain) from dusk till dawn for over three centuries. I imagined those who perished there when the Tiber River overflowed, as well as those who were persecuted and starved.

But now, the Ghetto of Rome is fluttering with Jewish life. Kosher restaurants dot the cobbled stone walkways and offer foods reflective of Roman Jewish (this is where the famous fried artichoke is available), Italian and Israeli cuisines. There is a 1500 student yeshiva in the Ghetto, though there are only twenty or so Jewish families remaining. The others sold their residences for astronomical sums and have moved to different neighborhoods. The Ghetto is considered a trendy area with apartments selling for over a million Euros. But, many of Rome’s Jews still come to daven at the shul.

Flancbaum-020113-RestaurantWhen we walked into the shul building, I could see why Michael pushed us so hard to make it the first thing we visited on our tour. The shul was re-built after a fire in 1904, and only thirty years after the Jews were finally free to live wherever they wanted. They could have erected their house of worship on any available piece of land in Rome. However, they wanted the shul to be a symbol of their survival and a symbol of hope for their children’s futures.

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 Italian Experience”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Kreshnik Berisha is not Jewish but played for a German soccer team - before joining ISIS.
German Man on Trial for ISIS Membership Played On Jewish Soccer Team
Latest Sections Stories
Ganz-091214-Fifty

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

Schonfeld-logo1

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

The new group will also deliver kosher food to Jewish residents in non-kosher facilities, as well as to kosher facilities where the food is not up to par.

More Articles from Debbie Flancbaum
Flancbaum-020113-Piazza

I find travel difficult. I am not crazy about flying, to say the least, and I am most happy and comfortable staying close to hearth and home. On the other hand, my husband, Lou, has an astounding amount of boyish curiosity and an unending desire to see new places.

Flancbaum-072012-Bakery

Most couples establish their own routines. They have their own rhythms that may include where they eat, when they vacation, and what they read. My husband Lou and I are no different. We like to eat Israeli food on Tuesday nights and we usually order the same—shwarma for him, grilled chicken for me. Our regular […]

This past December 5, I became a Savta again. My mother always told me not to count my grandchildren, so I won’t. Suffice to say, Baruch Hashem, our little tribe has expanded greatly since our first granddaughter, Aleeza, was born eight years ago. And since they all came on the scene, my husband Lou and I have spent countless hours enjoying them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/travel/an-italian-experience/2013/02/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: