Tuesday, August 08, 2006


I'm feeling much better than I have the past few days. My friend Rachel and I went to a water park at Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim, about 45 minutes from Jerusalem, near Latrun. The park has separate hours for men and women, so we could all walk around in our bathing suits, disturbing neither our religious sensibilities nor any "body image" issues. I know it sounds quite Victorian to a lot of people to have separate swimming hours, but you know what? It was so comfortable. There were women and girls in all manner of swimwear: some in bikinis, some in one-piece suits, some with a t-shirt over the bathing suit, some in dressrobes or swimdresses that almost completely covered them. And no one cared. It couldn't have mattered less to anyone. You don't have to be religious at all to sense how much easier it is for women to completely relax when there are no men around, especially when they are in bathing suits. You'd be surprised by how many non-religious women take advantage of women's hours at beaches and pools.

Anyway, I'd never been to a water park before. I've been swimming of course, but this was my first time in a huge corkscrew slide with water rushing down it, and me rushing down it. It was amazing! We went down a couple of slides, then hung out in one of the big pools, just sort of lounging around in the water. So refreshing.

So necessary.

I'm like a different person.

Of course, no matter how hard we try to get away from thoughts of the war, the war comes to us: As we were eating lunch in the family area after the women's hours ended, two military planes flew overhead. The 250-300 people eating their lunches under the pergolas looked up, and were quiet, and watched the plane as it disappeared to the north, and were quiet some more, then slowly went back to their sandwiches and coca cola and children in wet bathing suits.

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