Saturday, November 15, 2003

Korea House and Cafe Hillel

Went out with Matt and Eugene again last night, this time to a restaurant near Zion Square called Korea House. Eugene (who's Korean) ordered a set menu for us, and it was delicious. I tried to remember what the dishes were called so I could tell Jef, but I've gone and forgotten them all. So here I am in Israel, eating Korean food, and there Jef is in Korea, buying a plane ticket to Tel Aviv. It's as if we never left each other...sigh...

After dinner we walked down Ben Yehuda street in the city center, which is beautiful. It was my first time into the city, and while most things were closed for Shabbat and the streets were nearly deserted, I still had that feeling of familiarity, still felt so privileged to be living in such a place.

We kept on walking to the German Colony, an affluent neighborhood full of beautiful old homes and coffee shops and restaurants, most of which are closed on Friday nights. But in my voyeuristic way, I enjoyed looking in the windows of the houses and apartments, and seeing families gathered around tables for Sabbath dinner.

We walked past the rebuilt Cafe Hillel, sight of a suicide bombing in September. I remember reading about it in Cleveland, how a Cleveland native, Dr. Applebaum, who had made Aliyah to Israel years ago, was killed there along with his daughter, who was to be married the next day. I thought about that standing outside the cafe, which is really nice--a place where I would go to sit for hours and study. It's hard to think of something to say about such a place, normal as it is, and yet completely foreign--a place that could be on any street corner in Cleveland, but ended up in the middle of a war zone.

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