Day two in Tel Aviv

Friday night Shabbat begins in Israel. The purpose of this weekly festival is that friends and family get together and enjoy a great feast while being in each other's presence.
The shabbat lasts from Friday evening to Saturday evening and in the meantime (almost) all shops and restaurants are closed and you almost see no cars on the streets.
My new friends and I participated in the Shabbat organised by the hostel. We helped with the cutting of the vegetables and then enjoyed our delicious meal with a nice glass of wine.

Tel Aviv has amazing beaches where you can easily spend the day!

Tel Aviv has amazing beaches where you can easily spend the day!

Day two in Tel Aviv

Together with one of the last survivors (almost everyone had left today), I thought it would be fun to go look up a market. Of course, we had forgotten that it was still Shabbat. Once we noticed how the busy streets of Tel Aviv were suddenly completely empty we knew we had to find an alternative thing to do.

We walked around a bit aimlessly and explored the city without really knowing where we were going. Eventually I decided that I would just go to the beach to enjoy some of the beautiful weather. Relaxing a little bit would do me fine, since the following days would be packed with activities and things to do.

It soon became clear to me why there were so few people in the busy streets of Tel Aviv. All residents and tourists of Tel Aviv had clearly rushed to the beach to find the best spots. The beaches were crowded and the red, yellow and white umbrellas conjured the sand carpet into a gigantic shadow surface.

Nevertheless, I wriggled in my butt somewhere to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the beach. Moments later I was talking with a Jewish lawyer and soon our conversation was about religion, Judaism in Belgium and my opinion about Israel.

Back at home, half of my friends and family had a heart attack when I told them that I would visit Israel. But to be honest, Israel felt as safe as a holiday to Spain or another safe country. Tel Aviv was very modern, the people were very friendly and I never got the impression that I was in danger.

The lawyer also told me that there were many Belgian Jews that had fled to Israel because they were frightened by the recent attacks and the ever rising rasisme towards them. Eventually we started talking about the Jews and their habits and one thing he told me is definitely worth mentioning.

In some Jewish communities, women must also cover their hair. In most cases they use some sort of veil, but some women are quite original! Some of them, he said, buy wigs of two thousand euros or more and use it to hide their own hair from the outside world.
“Most women look even better with such a wig!” I burst out laughing.”

You have to admit… They are quite inventive, aren’t they?!

After spending a day burning and baking in the sun, I decided it was time to go back to the beautiful hostel and this time not stay up too late. Tomorrow my trip through Israel would, after all, only really begin.

The skyline of Tel Aviv.

The skyline of Tel Aviv.

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