Seraphic Secret in the Land of Israel, Part III August 6, 2015 by Robert J. Avrech 12 Comments Karen and I commissioned a new headstone for our beloved son Ariel Chaim, zt’l. The Israeli company that did the engraving were acutely sensitive to our needs and made sure to get language and image just right. We asked the best way to pay as we were still in America. They said not to worry, we could take care of it when we arrived in Israel. First chance we had, Karen and I drove to the office where we paid our bill and thanked the father and son who ran the company. Outside, I chatted with a worker, a Breslov Hasid, as he inscribed a new headstone. The young hasid blessed my family and the soul of our son. Then he reached into his pocket and asked if it was okay for him to give me a gift… … a prayer book. I thanked him. Opened to a random page, and recited a prayer. The young man said “Amen,” gave me a hug, then resumed his holy work. As we said in yesterday’s post, public signs are, frequently, a barometer of the values a society holds dear. Rev. King’s clarion call that we should measure a man not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character, is a message that resounds powerfully among Israelis. If you go — don’t, you’ll be murdered — into the Arab Muslim settlements in Israel you will find that their streets are named after IslamoNazi terrorists who murdered men, women and children through bombings, shootings, stabbings, and various tortures. Karen and I were looking forward to visiting the Menachem Begin Museum. Our love and admiration for Prime Minister Begin is boundless. Unfortunately, the museum is mediocre. The exhibits are static, the worst kind of steel sculptures that feel like parodies of Soviet style monuments. The narration for the brief films are confusing. One suspects they were written by people who were either ignorant of history, or Labor party hacks determined to subtly undermine Begin’s achievements. The funny part of the tour was our English tour guide — who could not speak English. I have no idea what’s going on with the Begin Museum but it is an embarrassment. Wait, there is one good thing about the Begin Museum, It’s the laser cut-out portrait of Prime Minister Begin in the front courtyard… From an angle you can see the illusion. So, if you go to the Begin Museum, our advice is have fun looking at the cut-out, and then go home. Walking away from the Begin Museum, Karen and I came across this memorial: “Eight holy Jews perished on this spot, victims of a terrorist attack aboard Bus# 14, on February 22, 2004. Lior Azulai, 18, Benaya Zuckerman, 18, Netanel Havshush, 20, Yuval Ozana, 32, Rahamim Doga, 38, Yehuda Haim, 48, Yaffa Ben-Shimol, 57, Israel Ilan Avisidris, 41. May G-d avenge their blood.” Lielle Meital and Maayan Ariel enjoying the cool waters of Ein Prat, where the Prophet Jeremiah dwelled. A reconstruction of the Holy Ark that carried the original broken tablets. A painstaking reconstruction of the belt worn by the High Priest. The belt is loooong. The High Priest needed help in winding it around his waist over two-dozen wraps. Why is Maayan Ariel (cue Martha and the Vandellas) dancing in the streets? I mean, what could possibly trigger such fancy footwork? I know, the suspense is unbearable… Maayan is dancing for joy because we are about to eat the best meal evuh at the world class Angelica restaurant in Jerusalem. I’m not a foodie, but I know when something special happens with taste and texture. I was actually humming like an idiot as I ate this chicken. Karen ordered the sous vide salmon, which she proclaimed delicious. Israel is perhaps the most kid-friendly country in the world. The waiters at Angelica didn’t flinch when we, six adults, entered with three young children and one infant. The friendly staff put together a few tables and were gracious to the children who were, y’know, lively kids. The prices were more than reasonable for 9 incredibly delicious meals. We give Angelica the Seraphic Secret Restaurant Rating of 4 Stars! This is the first time we have ever given a restaurant the full 4 stars. Okay, it’s our only restaurant review, but still… From the land of Israel, Maayan Ariel wishes all our friends and relatives a joyous and holy Shabbat.