This is my first visit to Atlanta, GA. It’s actually my second visit to the old south. In my first year at Stern College, Y.U. for Women, 1967, I spent Yom Kippur with a close friend’s family in Danville, VA. The Orthodox Jewish community at the time had been dwindling to the point that on an ordinary Shabbat, young men from other cities would volunteer to spend it there to make a minyan. There were enough locals on Yom Kippur. I’m pretty sure that was the first time I had eaten homemade challah. In New York or even Connecticut you could buy it in a bakery.
Now, when I’ve shopped in N.Y. or even Phoenix, the salespeople in their spiel ask where I’m from when I decline their offers to join their stores “frequent shopper clubs.” I say I live abroad, and they ask what country and I answer Israel and usually get sincere seeming replies, including a yearning to visit. I haven’t gotten that here. But I have ridden on Jimmy Carter Blvd or Street. I guess it’s Jimmy Carter country.
I’ll be spending Shabbat with the Orthodox Jewish community here and from the looks of it, I’ll be having fun. So far we’ve eaten out in two kosher restaurants and we haven’t sampled them all. There seems to be lots of kosher food available and in those areas I saw lots of frum people wandering about, sort of like Kew Garden Hills, N.Y.
Please don’t ask me about what’s happening in Israel. I haven’t a clue. It doesn’t seem to be very newsworthy here.
Lots of Israelis live in this fantasy world thinking that the United States of America, politicians and ordinary citizens are very concerned with Israel. Sorry, but it’s not true. Here and there there are pockets of caring people and some of them wouldn’t mind if we were pushed into the sea, G-d forbid. Most Americans care more about who’s going to win the Super Bowl. That’s the truth. Very few Americans care about the security and continued existence of Israel. They are more concerned about finding the closest Sears Outlet for the best deal on a new washing machine.
So Israeli citizens, we must do what’s best for us and not pay and not pay attention to the U.S.A. That’s the only way we’ll get respect and be left alone.
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