A Tourist’s Guide to Israel

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The "wailing wall"—or as humor columnist Lev Novak calls it, the "kvetching wall"—on a holiday. Credit: PD-Israel.

For many Jews, Israel is a sacred land, one strongly tied to generations of ancestors, making it much like Long Island but with better weather. For any readers who may be going soon, here are some crucial facts and tips to help you with your visit.

  • The national languages of Israel are “Hebrew” and “Loud.” Everyone will speak to you in “English” and “Bargains!”
  • Israel has a predominantly Jewish army, which, somehow, is not an idea from a mean-spirited SNL sketch.
  • In Israel, the media, banking, and accounting practices are, rather awkwardly, Jew-run.
  • Israel is considered the Promised Land for the Jews, Christians, and Muslims, proving once again, that God is really, really bad at promising things.
  • Israel has the sacred “wailing wall,” translated from the original Yiddish of the “kvetching wall.”
  • Stop asking if they saw that “Zohan” movie with Adam Sandler. Of course they saw the Zohan movie. A better question would be: “Who else would have?”
  • Israel is rich with ancient archaeological treasures, such as the Dead Sea scrolls. This is in lieu of having actual treasures.
  • Israel has a tense relationship with many of its neighbors. The ostentatious Hanukkah lights didn’t win anyone over, that’s for sure.
  • Israel is home to the Dead Sea, a body of water so salty no aquatic life could possibly survive there. This is because God’s bubbe insisted on seasoning it herself.
  • Just to make things difficult, every mother there wants her son to find a nice Sikh girl.
  • Israel has many socialized living farms called “kibbutzim,” because if there are two things Jews are good at, it’s respecting personal space and farming.
  • As in every 9-year-old’s nightmare, every day of school is Hebrew school!

Lev Novak is a junior at Tufts University and a frequent contributor for College Humor.

Posted on November 1, 2011 and filed under Humor, Israel.