Letter 5

Dear Art,

After one week of not eating any chametz, yesterday I sunk my teeth into an incredibly delicious felafel.  Maoz, a great little felafel joint in the middle of Jerusalem on King George Street, was the scene of my dining pleasure.

A felafel at this place is not just a felafel with tahina but rather with an assortment of salads and sauces.  Yesterday I chose shredded cabbage, pickles and chips (french fries in the old world) to accompany the felafel balls, then on my one I stuffed in some spicy carrot salad and lots of tehina.  Also, being the lover of charif (spicy) food, I couldn’t resist one long hot green pepper.

The place does quite a business so the food is always fresh.  There’s a framed picture on the wall of the original owners, presumably the parents of the current owners.  There’s a short story under the picture which explains some of the history of the tiny restaurant which opened back in 1967.  For some reason, don’t ask me why, I have the feeling that the elderly couple in the picture is Iraqi.

While eating my first chametz in a week, I was joined (or perhaps I joined?) by a tourist from Toronto.  I helped him with Hebrew in ordering his felafel so we just naturally started talking.  His name was Aaron and he appeared to be around 30.  This was his first trip to Israel and he was really enjoying the place (both Israel and the felafel at Maoz).  I utilized the opportunity to provide him with some real understanding of Israel in order to counterbalance the impressions he had received from CNN and the NY Times.   He seemed to be genuinely interested in what I was saying.

When I asked him what had been the most interesting part of his trip, he said visiting the Kotel (the Western Wall).  There he said he felt something special, something spiritual.  Usually this wouldn’t surprise me but in this case it was unique since Aaron was a Christian.

Having lunch in Jerusalem can really be a unique experience.

Your friend.

Yoel

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