Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Life is a Trek (in haphazard order)

Life is a Trek
Cape Town, RSA
Jerusalem, the Western Wall
Tel Aviv-Sheraton Hotel
Jerusalem the Golden
Bet Shean, The Roman Theatre
Greece - Mykonos port postcard
Lucerne: City, Lake and Rigi
Roman theater in Amman, Jordan
Trek notes
Sea of Galilee
Island of Rhodes
Kibbutz Dan during Operation Desert Storm
Kibbutz Dan just before Gulf War
Kibbutz Adamit, Israel
Drinking Beer in Munich
Sahne & Bet She'an near Kibbutz Reshafim
Mt. Gilboa, King Saul, Reshafim
Poems from Kibbutz Regavim
BS Tutu, Bethlehem, Jerusalem
Confessions of a Lesbian
Kibbutz Reshafim, Israel
Moshav Kfar Hayyim, Israel
End of Ulpan at Sdot Yam
Getting ready to move again
Kibbutz Sdot Yam & Bolshoi Ballet
Sdot Yam - Getting ready for our trip
Kibbutz Sdot Yam, Sept. '89
Kibbutz Sdot Yam, Israel
Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan, Restal Hotel, Tiberias, Israel

Kibbutz Dan just before Gulf War

Letter to Steve at his mother's

Jan. 13, 1991

We've moved from the south to Northernmost Israel - in between Syria and Lebanon. The last few days have been scary because we've been talked to about the situation, showed our bomb shelter, instructed about sealing off a room with plastic & sheets & such against chemical warfare & we're supposed to get our gas masks today. Our greatest threat here would probably be Syria if they turned against Israel. We're 1 hr. from their border. We spent last night & today "preparing" our rooms. Why can't we live in peace? Iraq against the world - God save us all from ourselves! John's on the phone to the States now - I told him to leave, better safe than sorry... Where to hide? What to do? May I live to see you around Feb. or March.
Love ya!
Shalom to Doris & Benny too!

(signature also written in Hebrew)
I'm a young 31 now...

Sahne & Bet She'an near Kibbutz Reshafim

Aerogramme to Steve & Dale from Kibbutz Reshafim
April 15, '90
Shalom! (in Hebrew).
Tonight is the 7th & final Day of Unleavened Bread - matzo - so we don't work tomorrow - National Holiday... I just had to step outside because another room was playing my song - "Nothing Compares to You" - a tearjerker for me. Saturday I walked/hitched w/my roommate to Sahne - a water resort near here I'd been to once before on a Kibbutz trip... Donna & I might hitch to Jericho tomorrow, if not I'm going back to Sahne - tho' I got plenty of SUN & swimming the other day. Today Donna & I hitched to our nearest town - BET-SHEAN - where I had a Bacardi Rum & coke for approximately $5. Imports are expensive, honey! ... Did I write you last week I went to Miriam's for Passover? If not - I spent 3 days with her, visited Simcha also & Ilan & his family. Our kibbutz trip was postponed until this Thurs. then we go to Israel's southernmost tip & hot resort Eilat - where my Dutch boy is working - & to Timnah - a National Park until Sat. Maybe in mid-May, present plans are to take the ferry from Haifa to Cyprus to Rhodes to Athens, Greece & hitch/train/or bus to Frankfurt to fly to Amerika! Tho' after getting a letter today from Ann in England, London sounds fun. We'll see.
Ciao for now,
David (signature in Hebrew)

Mt. Gilboa, King Saul, Reshafim

Aerogramme to Steve & Dale from Kibbutz Reshafim
March 28, 1990
Kibbutz Reshafim
10905 Israel
(New Moon)
Shalom! (written in Hebrew)

I've finished my second ulpan & have received a certificate for it. I'm glad I stuck it out in spite of the strong temptations to drop out along the way for various reasons. Naturally, when an ulpan ends most people go their separate ways, which is hard on the emotions, but it's also exciting to move on to new places, people & experiences, which is what I've done. I'm presently in the Jordan Valley area not far from the Jordan River & border. We're just down the road from Biblical Bet-Shean and our "backyard" view is impressive Mt. Gilboa where Israel's first King, Saul, died after a major battle with the Philistines, also 3 of his Prince sons, including Jonathan - King David's best friend & the brother of David's wife, Princess Michal. Read about it in 2 Samuel Chapter 1 & the last chapter of 1 Samuel. I read it tonight after walking out back near the fields to look at the mountains silhouette after sunset with the new moon over them all... Last Shabbat/Sabbath/Saturday, everyone went to Masada but Maarten and I, because while I struggled to get him up to come the bus left! But we had a very peaceful, quiet day, all alone... Friday night I drank 1 whole bottle of Arak (Ouzo) myself! And remember almost everything... Sunday I hitched to Sdot Yam to visit friends & lay on the beach & Monday saw Maarten off & was so hurt all day - thinking that song by O'Connor "Nothing Compares to You" - I felt so empty & lost...He's in Eilat, farthest southern Israel. Then my going away party was ok & I left Tues, hitched 3 hours to here since Donna's here. There's some good-looking volunteers here, especially 21 yr. David from N.Y. you'd both faint over & Kibbutz members... Oh well. When will I straighten up. I'll see you in June if I survive 'till then.

Love, David


I might visit a friend in Ireland on the coast before coming to the States.

Poems from Kibbutz Regavim

Letter and poems written on stationery from Kibbutz Regavim to Steve & Dale, enclosed with a lock of my sun bleached hair
March 20, 1990
Dear Stella & Della, Shalom! (shalom also written in Hebrew)
I'm tired but want to keep awake to watch "Twins" tonight. My Dutch fling - Maarten - left for 2 days in Jerusalem. I miss him - unfortunately - already. (It's funny I'm thinking in Hebrew, but writing in English). Our ulpan ends this week & there's a party tomorrow - plus we receive certificates of completion. I feel sort of depressed that I may never see Maarten again after next week - 'cause we're all leaving to other Kibbutzim or countries - tho' I know the first good-looking guy who comes my will cause me to say "Maarten who?" Maarten's confused - he says he's not gay, but...  I'll be moving next week. This Sabbath we go to Masada & The Dead Sea & Ein Gedi - 4 or 5 hrs. south of here. Last Friday there was a huge PURIM party here (Jewish festival recorded in the Biblical book of Esther), but I hitched to Ramat Yohanan to be with Miriam who's suffering from depression, while there I met another "son" of hers - also American - who says I'll always have a place to stay for the next yr. he's in Jerusalem. Donna moved a week & 1/2 ago to the Jordan Valley - so called occupied West Bank on Jordan's border, near Mt. Gilboa, so I think that's also where I'm going. It's Kibbutz RESHAFIM. Mom's supposed to send me some money, then I'll send Dale his camel I bought. I also asked her to help with the phone bill. Following are some poems I wrote prompted by Maarten...
Love ya,
David (signature in Hebrew)
I dreamt of Bob last night. Plus my hair is cut short now.

Staring into your Eyes
As you mingle with The Crowd -
Noticing me
Standing near you
You turn and smile,
Touching me
With unspoken words -
Such a gentle feeling -
Something special
Between us
Giving our Lives
Feb. 17, '90

There you were
Standing Silent in the Moonlight
You thought throughout the Night
Then you Turned
And saw me with quiet tears
You came near
And embraced all my fears
Then we kissed
And eternity slipped away
Such soft whispers
Everything I had to say
You understand
And grew stronger still -
I love you
And I always will
March '90
(wrote this sitting beside Maarten as he played his guitar)

Passion & Pain
I tell myself
I don't love you anymore
But deep down inside
I know it's a lie,
And go against
Everything I believe
When I continue
To see you
And know your deceit -
You hurt me more
Then you could know
But I play strong
And struggle not to let it show
But I know that
I've got to go -
Because I can't stand
Being in love with you
When you're in love
With another man...
Feb. 20, '90

BS Tutu, Bethlehem, Jerusalem

Aerogramme to Steve & Dale from Kibbutz Regavim
Jan. 9, 1990
Kibbutz Regavim
Dear haverim (friends),
I received your letter today, Dale, & one recently from a Church friend near Santa Barbara, Calif. Letters are the highlight of our day, & so therefore are greatly appreciated. I'm in Hebrew class now so I'm just starting this letter before I get busted. Tonight I work in a plastic factory from 8 p.m. - 4 a.m. We not only make toys, we manufacture all the parts for disposable razors. To be continued... It's break now. Tho' I don't celebrate Xmas because of its pagan birth (origin) & it's nowhere commanded, etc. it's around the same time as Hanukkah. So I went to Jerusalem Dec. 24th, & even tho' I hate S. Afrikan Bishop (Bullshit) Desmond Tutu, I wanted to see him on his historic - tho' wicked - visit to Israel, so I heard him give midnight mass at St. George's Anglican Church in Jerusalem. Later we all evacuated because of a bomb threat. Xmas Day I visited Bethlehem where I met 4 nice guys from a different Kibbutz & visited... (class just let out) the Church of Nativity - the traditional site of Jesus' birth & Manger Square. We discussed how tradition is so deep & how people are stuck in its muck. What's important was Jesus was born somewhere in Bethlehem because his ancestor King David was born there. I was later told I was on Israeli TV - about 7 different Kibbutz members said they saw me next to the Western ("Wailing") Wall on TV - and I didn't even notice any cameras! They recognized my blond hair (that needs cut!). I spent a quiet New Year's eve visiting Miriam at Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan near Haifa. On, on the way to Jerusalem I rode a train halfway there - a first for me. Jerusalem was packed because of Hanukkah & Xmas. I also went dancing again at the UNDERGROUND...crazy as usual! I wonder if Ramon's wife had her baby yet... All the Garin came again this weekend - a wild group of pre-army 17 & 18 yr. olds who all like me... Well I'm going to Miriam's again next week for 2 or 3 days, but now I'd better go to sleep since I'll be up 'till 4 in the MORNING! Help. (Actually it's quite easy). Oh, I've also conveniently had my own room now - double bed - for the last week or so.
Write ya later.

Confessions of a Lesbian

Aerogramme to Stella & Della from Kibbutz Regavim
Dec. 22, '89
Kibbutz Regavim
Shalom! I should write this later - it's 2:30 in the morning, but my French roommate Stefan is carrying on in a barrage of French (which I don't like/I hate) to our next door French "neighbor" Veronique. I've just come from dancing in our pub. I also drank 3 beers there & feel somewhat sick - last Friday - my first day here, I went "off the wagon" for the eve, drank about ten beers, somewhat blacked out, threw up - damn beer, it's so bloating. There's so many good-looking guys here from all over the world (volunteers/ulpan) & from the Kibbutz, cruisin' me in their own way, it's so frustrating - what's a girl to do? Tonight a girl from England (she's in my new Hebrew class) "confessed" she's a lesbian. I'd already guessed. Tomorrow I'm supposed to travel, I mean walk, about 1/2 hr. to an Arab village next to us called Kfar Kara. We're surrounded by Arab villages & we're nestled amongst many hills & pretty valleys, versus Sdot Yam's beach, sand dunes & ocean. I'm friends with so many Arabs employed here already, who have invited me to visit them. Mohammad, Zecharia, Tarik, Mohammed, Bassam, etc. So many of them look gorgeously Italian... Tonight, Sabbath eve, begins our Festival of Hanukkah, commemorating Jerusalem's liberation & the Temple's rededication. Yesterday I hitched & took buses to Sdot Yam to pick up my suitcase. I had earlier only brought my army bag. Out of all the nice people cruisin tonight... Sunday I might leave for Jerusalem for a night for Hanukkah & to Bethlehem for Xmas even tho' it's not a holiday for me. Asshole Bishop Tutu from S. Africa is visiting there.

Getting ready to move again

Written to Steve & Dale on plain paper from Kibbutz Sdot Yam with photos enclosed
Oct. 31, '89
Sdot Yam,
Shalom! (written in Hebrew)
Just a quick note
to say please take this letter
of Bob's to Krogers for him, & when you see Mom - go see her! She now has her own home at... I'm so grateful to God & happy for her & Lisa -
give her any pics with "Mom" on the
back. I'm going to the next
level of Hebrew at
Kibbutz Regavim
Write me there. I'll send the zip code - "the postal code" as my
present English friends insist - when I get
it. I don't leave for there until
Dec. 15th. I might live down
South for 1 month on a farm (moshav) after
Nov. 12th. Tomorrow I go renew
my Israeli visa for 20 shekelim ($10).
Well I'm
exhausted & all
my friends just left
to crash so
I am going
to also.
We just got 3 new
guys from India.
A couple weeks ago
I hitchhiked to Jerusalem
for a day & back to
be in a controversial demonstration
for Jews to rebuild the Temple.
Did you see me on the news?
I was waving the Israeli flag...ha!
G' Nigh.
Lighla tov!
One of my "colored" friends from S. Afrika left tonight to be an au-pair near Tel Aviv. We gave her - Celeste - a silly send-off, acting stupid but fun.

Kibbutz Sdot Yam & Bolshoi Ballet

Aerogramme to Steve & Dale from Kibbutz Sdot Yam
Sept. 20, '89
5:05 p.m.
I've just returned from my first dip in the Sea in about a week. Not too many people today, but a lot of wind surfers with their brilliant colors flying by on the Sea. Thank you Dale for writing. I appreciate it. So far I've only received letters from a few friends & I love letters - they make my day. I just got up from a nap I took (after our Hebrew class today) about an hour ago. Last week I was privileged to work for our kibbutz at the Roman amphitheatre near us for the BOLSHOI BALLET FROM MOSCOW! The show was spectacular & I was able to meet 2 of the dancers later & get my picture with the one - blond hair, blue eyed Sergei Baranov who asked for my address after he gave me his signature. They tour Turkey next & in Dec. to Montreal, so I gave him this address & mom's & her phone # he asked twice for! Everyone here wondered how I got to work there, only another American, Graham, and an English girl, Ann, worked also. Then I managed to get Alex (Hungarian) & I in to see 2 popular Israeli singers. I don't know if I already wrote this or not...? I got my picture with one of them & later also with their cute guitarist & drummer! We recently had a field trip to the Golan Heights where we enjoyed breakfast & a swim in the Sea of Galilee near Kibbutz Ein Gev, then we travelled to young Kibbutz past volcanic rocks & to Syria's border, looking at their city Kuneitra. Then we went to where Jews first made a settlement - Tel Chai -through Kiryat Shmona, also to the beautiful Banias springs & WATERFALL where we also swam, then to Tiberias to stroll on their lovely promenade on the Sea of Galilee, stopping in Afula for cake & ice cream for this French guy's birthday & then singing Hebrew songs back to our Kibbutz. I guess I got trashed on vodka last Fri. night. I had a black-out - Doof (from Holland) and Guy (Israeli) brought me home, put me to bed & said I was loving & sweet to all the girls - I don't remember it at all! They said I couldn't stand...oh, well. Tell Leslyie & Bill & Chris hello. I haven't forgotten anyone but I'm broke here. When I get $ I'll send out cards. I also have 3 rolls of film to develop.
Love ya all,
Go see our Europe pictures!

Sdot Yam - Getting ready for our trip

Aerogramme to Steve from Kibbutz Sdot Yam
Sept. 12, '89
7:45 p.m.
Queen! Why haven't YOU written? I know you hate to but still you can anyway. Try it! I wasn't going to write you again until I heard from you. I've just come back from the Dining Room (Chadar Ochel). Tonight our pub is open but they only have beer. Last Friday I was so desperate to drink I drank 5 beers there - ha! We had class today & discussed some history of where we're going on our trip tomorrow - The Golan Heights near Jordan, Syria & Lebanon. Last week some terrorists killed 2 Israeli soldiers near there. We always have at least 2 armed soldiers with us, probably more tomorrow. We'll also stop & swim in the Sea of Galilee. Tell your mother hi please. Thankfully some Germany girl - Anyia (who hates Germany) went to town yesterday & bought about 6 bottles of vodka. She was nice & let me buy one from her tonight since for some stupid reason Israeli stores are closed on Tuesday afternoons. Alex (from Hungary) & I walked to Caesarea (1/2 hr. away) to buy vodka but they were closed. I thought of you as I walked thinking you'd think "how typical of David to be on his way - even in Israel, to buy booze"... We have 2 new Americans here now. There's this guy from London... but he really is totally straight... But he always comes around & says he really likes me as a person. I was depressed a few days ago, so at night I sat for 1/2 hr on the rocks on the beach, remembering our fun in Florida, Mom, Lisa & me in Europe, Kevin Kottke - the stars & surf were somewhat soothing to my "restless soul"...

Kibbutz Sdot Yam, Sept. '89

Aerogramme to Steve from Kibbutz Sdot Yam (volunteers are given so many aerogrammes each month, besides room & board and a small allowance).
Sept. 2, '89
Kibbutz Sdot Yam
4:30 p.m.
Steve - Shabbat Shalom!
Just after writing the date for this letter our pretty German girl - Susan from Bavaria - asked if we could study our Hebrew lessons together. I said after this letter. I've just returned from swimming in the Sea w/some friends from France - Michal & Francoise, Sher from Israel, Nubuya from Japan. I laid out for about 45 minutes afterwards. Last night I got buzzed drinking 95% alcohol (equivalent to 151 in America) mixed with Arak (like Oozo). We had a big barbecue on the Kibbutz's private beach w/everyone down there. We barbecued chicken & ate it w/pita bread under the many stars & listening to the violent surf. It was to mark summer's end & the kids new school year... So I drink & dance my brains out... I went to bed at 4... Such is life (in Hebrew "Zay Mighesh"). I now have my own cute room since my favorite S. African girls left to tour Israel & Greece. My room is pink & blue sheets, curtains, sheets hanging decoratively from the ceiling, etc. Well, write me! Mom said she talked w/you several times. Wish you were here. Honestly.

Wonderful Swedes in Jerusalem

Aerogramme to Steve from Sdot Yam
Aug. 8, 1989
Sdot Yam,
Queen! So hows Stella Mae? I've just finished playing hostess - offering tea to my kibbutz neighbors - 2 girls from S. Africa & one from Brazil. My roommate is Sandor (Alexander) from Hungary. He's nice but hard to understand (his English sometimes). Now someone else just moved in with us from Calif. named Graham. He brought his guitar. This kibbutz is beautiful. We're located right on the beach. We're also next to a famous Roman amphitheatre in Ceasarea I visited 9 yrs. ago & yesterday w/Alex. I'm sitting outside my room writing this in the shade because our room is an oven. It's about 5:15 p.m. This morning was my first Kibbutz job here - at 3:00 a.m. in the morning. I had to help grab 2 chickens (1 of their legs each) in both hands & carry them upside down squawking & fluttering to a metal bin we put them in. Never again! Easy, but disgusting. Then I worked outdoors spraying herbicide on rows of Avocado trees. I'm tan now, but still got too much sun today on top of swimming in the Sea twice yesterday. Before I arrived at this Kibbutz I spent a fabulous week in Jerusalem at a youth hostel where I met the most wonderful Swedes - Magnus, Soren and Jerker. I was their "tour guide" of Jerusalem & showed them all around, including places they wouldn't of seen otherwise. They had a rented car so it was grand. We walked through Hezekiah's Tunnel together, Mt. of Olives, the Wall, etc. We went to The Underground "bar" for 5 nights straight. Several times they bought me food & alcohol since they couldn't of had a "better" tour guide they said. A pretty girl from Toronto was with us also - Kristina - & another guy from Argentina - Diego. I practically cried when they left - they all gave me hugs good bye...I have the Swedes address...Plus at the hostel I hung w/several wild & crazy Jewish guys from Vancouver. I especially liked Steve... - only 21. The owner liked me so much he loaned me 15 shekelim ($8.00) to get to the Kibbutz since I was broke. Plus he said I could work him whenever I wanted. I also took free Jewish tours of the Moslem & Jewish quarters of Jerusalem w/a bunch of Jews. I'll probably only be here for 3 or 4 months, since they don't offer the next Hebrew level course I want. I need to write Mom also but sometimes it's difficult repeating myself. Tonight we open the "pub" & drink beer & dance. Also Friday. Thankfully I have my personal supply of vodka to insure my intoxication since they only serve beer... I tripped out today because some English guy today was wearing a Ft. Lauderdale, Summer's Bar T shirt! A friend gave it to him. I especially like a guy here from India... He's got olive skin, not dark, & beautiful brown eyes & the cutest grin... He'll drink w/me tonight. His roommate is Shawn from Canada. They live in the volunteer's section which they call "Mexico City" compared to us Ulpan (Hebrew students) peoples place they call "Beverly Hills". Ha! Ciao for now. It's supper.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Written to Steve and Dale on a postcard that shows Athens at sunset or so...

Wed., June 6, 1990

Shalom from Greece! We set sail from Haifa, Israel Sun. night, stayed for a few hrs. in Cyprus, continued on to the island of Rhodes - so beautiful, ancient and modern with alls around it, a castle - last night in Crete & 11:30 this morning in Greece! We're travelling w/two gay S. Afrikans we met on the boat... Them, Andreas, Donna, me & a Danish girl toured the Acropolis today, snapping away like busy tourists & walked all over Athens. The sunset over the mtns. was beautiful. We met a lot of nice people, especially Israeli - on the boat & drank all 3 nights Bacardi - bottles from Duty-Free. I also played the gambling machines to experience it. I only won tokens. Tonight we're all going to this gay bar - Grafittis except Andreas & the Dane hitched for Germany. So many gay parks here too. Now we're in a youth hostel - it's nice.
See ya!
David (signature written in Hebrew).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Famous Israelis I've met

Our Toledo newspaper, The Blade, asked Sunday, "Have you had a brush with fame?" And wants to know about it. I sent them these few:
Ariel Sharon: Likud Parliament Member, former Defense Minister, later Prime Minister. I met Ariel Sharon before and after his speech at rally in Hebron, where thousands gathered to protest the signing of the Oslo 2 accords happening simultaneously in Washington D.C. I had traveled to the biblical City of the Patriarchs with Gershon Salomon [paratrooper who helped liberate Jerusalem's Temple Mount in 1967] and other Temple Mount Faithful friends. I handed Ariel Sharon a flyer and invited him to our Hanukkah demonstration in Jerusalem.
Ehud Olmert: [Former] Mayor of Jerusalem, present Prime Minister of Israel. I met Olmert and shook his hand, just as I was leaving the Eucalyptus restaurant's opening celebration in Jerusalem. I had been invited to the party by Moshe, the owner, whose partner I once worked for.
Teddy Kollek: Former long-time Mayor of Jerusalem. I just happened to be walking past a dinner theatre he was coming out of, so I took advantage of the opportunity to say "Shabbat Shalom" and shake his hand. When I mentioned Herbert Armstrong often spoke of him, he said, "I have fond memories of the old man." (I recall thinking he wasn't looking too young himself).

Yitzhak Rabin: I met Yitzhak Rabin in the Israeli Parliament in 1982 during Hanukkah. I was able to talk with him briefly and mention I was associated with Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. That was a tactful way of saying I'm a Christian since Rabin had met and received a gift of Steuben crystal from Herbert W. Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God.
I was a volunteer at Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan at the time, in Northern Israel near Haifa. Rabin informed me that he had lived there for over a year in the late '50s and inquired about various individuals.
From Toledo to Jerusalem
Ariel Sharon: Return to the Temple Mount!
Ariel Sharon: From Zionist to Traitor
Don't Expel Jews From Gaza!
Paint Israel Black: Jews to Lose Jerusalem!
Shimon Peres Came to Power Over Rabin's Dead Body
Shimon Peres Charged with the Murder of Yitzhak Rabin?
Israel Work History (Worldwide Church of God)
The Plain Truth About Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God
Herbert W. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God Mentioned in Israeli Newspaper
Miriam Weiss: Holocaust Survivor and Kibbutz Mother
Princess Diana, a Dream, and King David's Dynasty