I recently returned from another wonderful and truly amazing trip to Israel. A good friend who made Aliyah a few years ago was celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of his oldest son and Mrs. Must and I traveled to the Holy Land to join in the joyous simcha.
Purely by coincidence (a.k.a. hashgacha pratis), as I was making my travel plans, a business opportunity arose in Israel. So not only was I going to experience a wonderful simcha in Israel, I was also going to work in Israel!
We stayed in Yerushalayim, but I had to travel to Ra'anana for work. So I rented a car. Being a New Yorker, I figured I could handle the pressure... and I also rented a GPS Navigation device with the car, to assist in getting me to my destination. Especially considering that once we had a car already, we may as well take the opportunity to visit our relatives and friends throughout Israel.
Let me tell you -- traffic is alive and well in Israel. But that isn't all.
I was informed by my cousin that leaving Yerushalayim in the morning towards Ra'anana would be a traffic-riddled commute. Rather than take Highway 1 out of the City of Gold, my cousin suggested I take Road 443 instead -- which goes straight to Modi'in. This way, I'd skip all the traffic leaving Yerushalayim, and I'd pick up Highway 1 near Tel Aviv.
So I'm driving on Road 443 and wonder why there are so many Army outposts and lookout towers. And my wife notices that both sides of the road are surrounded by security fences. Then we pass an Army checkpoint. We call our cousin just to make sure we aren't driving right into Gaza at which point the GPS suddenly chirps to life and says:
UNKNOWN ROAD. GO BACK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
After my cousin reassures us all is fine, we finally see signs for Modi'in and before you know it we're on Highway 1. Which we then sit on for an hour. All in all, it took us 2.5 hours to get to Ra'anana. Along the way, the wife and I noticed all the nice cars they seem to have in Israel. We even saw some cool sports cars. Driving in Israel is really quite an experience. Just be prepared to sit in traffic. Lots of it.
All in all, the trip was incredible. I can't wait to go back! Maybe next time, I'll actually meet Jameel (if he really exists)...
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael