The Yomim Tovim in Israel are truly a special treat for us. There is nothing like spending Yom Tov in a community where almost everyone else is celebrating it - in a country where Sukkos is a national holiday.
Even with all the negative stories coming out of Suburban Bet Shemesh where I will be staying, the experience I have always had there is an exceedingly positive one. The two primary suburbs of Bet Shemesh are Ramat Bet Shemesh A and B. Most of the negative stories (such as the one about extremist Charedim screaming “Whore!” at an 8 year old Dati Leumi girl) come out of RBS - B. The residents there are basically Meah Shearim transplantees.
I will be staying in RBS - A where my family lives. Although the majority of that community is Charedi, there is still a very sizable number of DL Jews. (I think the breakdown is 60/40. with a very small number of secular Jews.) The Charedim in RBS - A are mostly moderate. They are as nice to me and my wife as could be – warm and welcoming every single year - even though I wear a Kipa Seruga on my head. Which in Israel is like wearing a giant name tag that says “Religious Zionist”.
For those who live in RBS –A, I will be mostly Davening in Maasas Mordechai located centrally on Nachal Dolev. If you are so inclined - come over and say hi.
As in past years, I hope to be able to continue posting in a timely fashion. I expect to have a new post tomorrow.
Anyway, I‘m on my way. “See” you all on the other side of the ocean!