The Big Felafel

My heart is in Jerusalem, but my hairgel is in America

It’s so awesome when parents come to visit for the holidays, bringing with them hugs, delicious meals, and the inevitable requests from America. Oh America, the land of toiletrees from Target and Costco. I think it was David Kilimnick, a Jerusalem comedian, who said something like,”We may have made aliyah, but we’re the only Israelis that live in this country and use toiletrees from another.” Touche.

Here I am, three years into living in Israel, but my superficiality refuses to let me use anything other than Crest with Scope toothpaste, Fructis hair gel, Ziploc bags, and the list goes on. Then there’s books, which are just so much cheaper coming from online sites like I’m psyched to start reading Bringing Down the House and Business2.0. And finally- clothes. I’ve tried the Israeli malls, but unfortunately, clothing in Israel falls into two tragic categories: the scandalous or the bag. Half the clothes are too skimpy to even figure out how to wear them, while the other half are so modest that I’ve lost any femininity I may have possessed. So, for the first time, I ordered clothes online and they came out pretty good.

As it happens, today I was in Super Moshava, the so-expensive-it’s-silly supermarket on Emek Refaim, which has a huge American-goods selection but for double the price. They’re stocking some new items which caught my eye: Hefty ziploc bags (a whopping 25 shekels for 18 bags), Axe deodorant (20 shek on sale this week, a decent buy), and whole-berried cranberry sauce for cranberry crunch, (gasp 15 shekels).

I know I should get over it, and use local goods, but there always seems to be another person coming to visit and another suitcase that needs help being filled.


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  1. * joan prager says:

    last time i looked the cranberry sauce was not ocean spray. with the substituted brand, i’ts better not to eat cranberry sauce, whole berry or the other kind.

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 4 months ago
  2. * Rebecca says:

    I think it was ShopRite brand at some point too, which was really weird for me. Why shouldn’t we eat cranberry sauce?

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 4 months ago
  3. * gloria says:

    I know it’s hard to believe, but eventually, you will wean yourself of American products but never American clothes. And you’ll still ask people to bring things that are not available here, like Splenda or peppermint flavoring (the Isrsaeli brand tastes like toothpaste). Last time I brought almost no toiletries but a lot of clothes for me, my kids and grandkids. After 31 years here, the temptation is still there but not nearly as strong as it once was. In 1976, we couldnt’ get chocolate chips or head letuce, so it’s progressive!

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 4 months ago
  4. * Rebecca says:

    Yeah! I noticed that the clothes here fall in the frumpy and skanky categories but not so much in between! And they don’t seem as well made here either! what’s up with that?

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 3 months ago
  5. * Doug says:


    please help!

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 2 months ago
  6. * Rebecca says:

    @Doug: I’m not so familiar with tel aviv but the Rami Levi in Jerusalem started selling canned cranberries (do they have Rami Levi in TA?), and I’ve seen frozen cranberries in some supermarkets although I can’t remember which.

    | Reply Posted 14 years, 2 months ago
  7. * Rose says:

    At most Sufersal deal’s you can find frozen cranberries that you can make sauce from. In Ranaana there is a shop called Meatland which you can buy canned cranberries.
    There are many American products now a days that you can get in Israel. I know you say you live in Jerusalem – I am sure they have some sort of Russian market… you’d be suprised at what American foods you can find at Russian markets, and if you look around you can find a kosher Russian markets as well…
    The clothes, you can buy many things online, Old Navy ships to Israel – which is a good one…if a few people order somethings together, and everyone puts in for shipping then shipping won’t cost so much…Same with Amazon, Pea in the Pod (Mimi Maternity), Gap…

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 9 months ago

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