The Sunny Side of the Wall

(Black and) Blue and White

By Cliff Keller — We have been misinformed. Recent events suggest that the world’s oldest profession, contrary to longstanding claims to the contrary, must surely be criticism. Criticism’s probable precedence over all other human pursuits makes perfect sense. Passing judgment is fun, easy to do, has no age limitations and requires neither logic, training or education to participate.

Israel bears down to reckon with COVID-19

By Cliff Keller — The malls have closed in Israel. As of March 15, 2020 and recent regs passed to hinder the spread of COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, so have all Israel’s gyms, public swimming pools, discos, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, heritage sites and hotels. Public transportation remains functioning but Israel’s Health Ministry […]

Irreconcilable Differences

Irreconcilable DifferencesBy Cliff Keller — In its Proclamation of Independence, Israel promised itself and the world that it would adopt, by October 1, 1948, a written constitution with which to govern itself. It failed to do so and that failure weighs heavily upon the nation today, over seventy years later. In the absence of a […]

Dead Before It Was Born

Dead Before It Was Born – By Cliff Keller – Rajab Abu Siriya, a writer for the Arabic language newspaper Al Ayyam based in Ramallah, Israel, did not think much of President Trump’s recent “Deal of the Century.” In an article for Al Ayyam entitled The Enemy’s Deal, Siriya called the plan, unveiled in a […]

A Perfect Example

A Perfect Example By: Cliff Keller — The day before Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani’s first funeral in Iran, he had four of them, a friend and I went on a search for a good hardware store in and around the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Gosh. My friend Derek (not his real name), an American […]

Going out and coming in

Going out and coming in By Cliff Keller — Mornings are much different here, in Jerusalem, than the mornings Marcia and I remember while living in the States. Birds, for example, that look for all the world like pigeons—perhaps more like pigeons who, in their past, once consorted with mutant doves—begin calling out at daybreak […]

Providence and unlimited broadcasting…

Providence and unlimited broadcasting… -By Cliff Keller- “When I was young, I said to G-d, ‘G-d, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But G-d answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone.’ So I said, ‘G-d, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then G-d said, ‘Well George, that’s more nearly your size.’ And he […]

Meeting the neighbors in Israel -- a crash course

-By Cliff Keller- “Step out of your comfort zone! Muster the courage to approach people! You’ll be surprised by how many new friends you can make.” So advises a relatively recent and popular YouTube video, 10 Tips to Meeting Friends in your Area. But it’s not at all clear that the video’s list of tips […]

There Goes the Neighborhood

There Goes the Neighborhood – By Cliff Keller – Ir Ganim’s community multi-year archaeology project was about much more than finding artifacts. One morning not too long ago, for what seemed like the thousandth time, I glanced out a rear window of our Jerusalem home in Givat Massuah.   Across the notch that separates that hilltop […]

Prophecy, Vintners and Aliyah - Part Two

Prophecy, Vintners and Aliyah – Part Two – By Cliff Keller – “Wait while my husband puts on his shoes…” Ramot Naftali is an agricultural moshav in the Upper Galilee lying two miles southeast of Israel’s border with Lebanon. Upon a breezy hilltop overlooking the Hula Valley, a scant fifteen miles from the Syrian border […]

A Visit, a Visionary, a Village and its Windmill

– By Cliff Keller – Wholly unique yet not unlike othersJerusalem’s Jaffa Gate was built in 1898 by Ottoman governors to allow German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, to enter the city in a triumphal procession. The Kaiser had come to Jerusalem for the inauguration of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, built on land given to […]

Prophecy, Vintners and Aliyah - Part One

Prophecy, Vintners and Aliyah – Part One – By Cliff Keller –  Bring my sons and daughters… Every soul who has left home to live in modern Israel has a story, often fascinating, always a bit mysterious. But the inevitable mysteries embedded in each account—a vanished barrier, a recurring dream, a sequence of seeming coincidences, […]

Savlanut and the Jewish heart

Savlanut and the Jewish heart – By: Cliff Keller –  The collective Israeli psyche, if such a thing exists, is ambiguous, capricious, mysterious and odd. Israelis often demand “savlanut” (sahv lah NOOT), or patience, from others, for example, while most of them refuse to stand in line, honk at red lights in traffic as if […]

Why another blog about Israel?

Why another blog about Israel? – By:  Cliff Keller –  In about one quarter of a second, a web search will currently return an astounding 191 million links in response to the query, “Israel blogs.” It would take nearly seven years to check them all if one were able to scan at one link per […]

Summer & Traveling with the Spirit

Jewish entrepreneurs first arrived in The City by the Bay in the midst of the Gold Rush and they continue to impact the development of many cultural and philanthropic institutions. Take a visit to The Contemporary Jewish Museum, located in the Mission, and enjoy a delicious pastrami sandwich in Wise Sons Deli on your way out…