I confess. Long before there was Netflix, I was a “binge reader.”
One genre I especially followed was murder-mysteries, not the gory/porny stuff, but good police whodunits. There was Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware, and Peter Decker and Rina Lazar created by Faye Kellerman were special favorites. Those murder detective stories set in LA with a Jewish theme were fun escape reading stories.
Multi-talented writer Michael Fertik’s “HIP SET” brought back fond memories. His book, published last year, is set in Tel Aviv, on some of “The Non-Stop City’s” ill-famed streets and infamous locations.
When Kobi Sambinsky of Tel Aviv’s Asylum Unit wakes up Congolese refugee Oscar Orleans early on a Shabbat morning, Oscar knows something is seriously wrong. Overnight a young man from South Sudan was found murdered in an iconic Tel Aviv waterfront building. Oscar, a Hebrew-speaking liaison to the African refugee community living in Tel Aviv’s slum district, has helped local police over the years with translating languages and explanations of African culture.
As the unlikely pair work to solve the first murder, Fertik incoperates current issues, not only of African immigration and South Sudan warring factions but Russian immigration, Israel’s “Russian mafia,” and Israeli resident status. All factor into the narrative along with police detective work and women’s status.
I am certain Fertik was pleased to see Faye Kellerman comment on his work, “Fast-paced with an original, exotic setting HIP SET is an unstoppable read from the first page to the last.”
After a long list of recent nonfiction books, “HIP SET” was a welcome change of pace. I will not give away the well-planted clues to the conclusion of the story. However, obviously, it’s been too long since I read a good murder-mystery, I shouted out loud at the end “How could I missed that!”
Yes, a rush on eggs has caused panic throughout the Jerusalem streets.
The rest of the world may have hoarded toilet paper but in Jerusalem, eggs were grabbed off the shelves and stashed away in large quantities. People might be in isolation for the Passover holiday, but they were not going to be caught short of eggs. Facebook friends were posting frantic messages.
I got the Sec-Gen’s phone number. In response to my message, he replied, “Tomorrow will be enough eggs in the supermarkets. People are in a little panic but I think that it’ll be stopped soon. Yours, Abu.”
So there you have it. But I still hear complaints about an egg shortage.
Eggs for Passover set off panic in the Jerusalem streets.
Meanwhile, Olim, new immigrants keep on arriving, knowing they will be sent into 14-day isolation because of COVID-19.
Having been off the streets this past week, I have been following Zoom sessions and webinars.
I have also been following scenes from the Western Wall Heritage Center WebCam much more often. This view is of the locked Wilson’s Arch on the evening of Rosh Chodesh Nissan. They have since straightened up the chairs. However, that lone empty chair caught my eye.
For a mass prayer of tehilim, psalms for healing, there was a distanced crowd last week.
Facebook Live-streamed as the rabbi spoke and people watched around the world.
On another coronavirus night, one lone man was seen near the Kotel.
The notes were cleared out of the Kotel almost as usual before Passover.
There was a social distancing of workers and no holiday crowds this year.
More and more events have moved online for work and for conferences.
And willingly posed for photos before running off to an election event.
I was hoping to say that the unity government was in place.
Maybe next week?
President Reuven Rivlin met with the Head of the IDF Manpower Directorate, for a briefing on IDF efforts to halt the spread of the virus in light of the global pandemic. In light of the instructions, the meeting was held in the garden of Beit Hanasi, at the appropriate distance.
This current coronavirus operation has been named “Ray of Light” by the IDF.
No on-site visitors are allowed, but Beit Hanasi has posted its first virtual tour. I have shared many photos from these spots, but this video includes background information.
As Dr. Tzvi Sheleg said discussing the COVID-19 situation at the Galilee Medical Center, “Emergency preparedness is part of our DNA.”
The Defense Minister announced that hundreds of IDF teachers are helping the doctor’s children all over Israel as part of a project called “Educational Framework.”
Magen David Adom (MDA) has begun collecting plasma units from those patients who recovered from Corona. Based on the assumption that those who have recovered from the disease have developed special anti-virus proteins (antibodies) in their plasma, these units could provide patients with a “passive vaccine” that may help them cope with the disease.
The Tel Aviv municipal building was lit with the MDA symbol to show appreciation for the thousands of health care workers on the front lines in what has been described repeatedly as a war against the tiny microbe. Approximately 8,000 people were sampled yesterday by MDA teams, of whom 4,000 were in the “Drive-Thru” complexes across the country.
On the very good news front, the Deep Knowledge Group, a consortium of commercial and non-profit organizations active in the realm of DeepTech from scientific research, has ranked Israel above Singapore as the safest country to stay. Ok, for efficient treatment it is not rated so high.
But Singapore is a very different culture. There are cameras everywhere. Do NOT try spitting gum out on the street! People follow orders. They have smaller family units. In Israel, even with the President sitting away and outside with only one staff member, protests are still allowed. Dozens of people have assembled in Tel Aviv on the beach to drive to Jerusalem to protest at the Knesset.
Last night Tel Aviv municipal building was lit with the “US flag in solidarity with the American people and the residents of our partner cities…We hold you close to our hearts,” tweeted the Mayor of Tel Aviv.
Also, it was done as a sign of gratitude to supporters and friends of Tel Aviv around the US who have shown their support by making significant contributions to the individuals and communities most affected by the coronavirus in Tel Aviv.
Where ever you are, stay safe and healthy.
Hope to see you back soon for more from the Jerusalem streets.