When Donald Meets Bibi

Today we’re having some work done on our heating/air conditioning unit, here in Herzliya. While I trust these guys (of course they’re all guys; women rabbis maybe, but never women plasterers) implicitly with any valuables they might find lying around, and the ultimate job will be honestly and well done, there is a mess. A considerable mess. This will be left to me to clean up. I know because I’ve been there, done that. Not my favorite activity. And women would, by the way, without a doubt, do a neater job!

I contrast that to Weltman, our heating and cooling company in West Orange. They come in with clean little booties which they make a little show of putting on in your presence, just in case you might not notice. But, bottom line, which is what counts anyway, when they leave, the job is done with nary a fingerprint. No DNA evidence that they’ve been there. Unlike in Israel where there’s enough to arrest a chief rabbi or prime minister. Oops. I do digress!

Living in two countries means comparing, always comparing. Everything from the supermarkets to the workmanship to the restaurants and governments. Lots of similarities and lots of differences.

My supermarkets in the two countries invite lots of comparisons. In NJ the lines are huge around Christmas and Thanksgiving. Here, it’s Rosh Hashanah and, the biggie, Pesach. Not so much on Chanukah which is less of a big deal than in our American Jewish homes. And of course here I’m never busy checking for kashrut. Unless I’m in our nearby Tiv Taam (which we’ve affectionately dubbed the goyim), everything is kosher So nice and easy.

And the malls tend to be packed up around Purim, as all those kiddies spend huge amounts of shekels on their elaborate costumes, which they’ll wear once. I haven’t really been checking on what the popular costumes are this year but in years past there were lots of Harry Potters wandering around, and all the kids do look very professorial in those cute glasses. Halloween is not one of the holidays that moved over to Israel but Valentine’s Day (with the saint and all) has been successfully transposed. Lots of red hearts filled with chocolates. Business is business.

And business is business with our governments. Neither Bibi nor Donald get my vote or support. They’ve both got lots of baggage. No secret that Bibi may soon be indicted. It’s a great smokescreen with incredibly expensive cigars playing a leading role. My father z”l was a chain smoking cigar smoker but Bibi has him beat. His cigars are hugely expensive, over $50. each it has been reported. My father’s cigars, Phillies, were probably less than $.25. I can’t say whether Bibi’s burn holes in his clothes but Dad’s certainly did.

Donald’s attachment to money is well known. Have you heard he’s now at war with Nordstroms. And after reading today’s reports it sounds like he’ll soon be attacking KMart and Sears. I thought his expansive and expensive tastes ran to higher echelon stores but I’ll soon be seeing the battleships off to our neighborhood West Orange KMart. Gevalt. We’re a landlocked town. How will that play itself out?

So these two guys are having a rendezvous in just a couple of days. It has been discussed with endless projections on how it will play itself out. We all know that Bibi has had no love for the last couple of presidents. He and Barack had a real hate-fest in front of the entire world. Barack, with his greater, far greater,. power, was the declared champion. He was so much the champion that, ultimately, he cost Hillary, as his surrogate, lots of Jewish votes. That didn’t turn the election but it certainly made lots of Jewish friends into lots of Jewish enemies. Those of us who perceive, and perceived, Donald as an unstable, uneducated faker, battle those who believe he will be good for the Jews and repair damage done by Barack.

Abundant signs have demonstrated the probability that the anti-Trumps will be proven right. Donald is already walking away from the embassy move (which is good) and the “no daylight” phrase which folks thought meant Israel could do anything at all and he’d be the cheerleader in chief. He’s a bit more cautious these days since Bibi decided to test him to the limits. Well, maybe Bibi hasn’t gone to his limits. Just to mine!

Trump already played the holocaust denial card which is a real boucha. And notice that he hasn’t changed a word of his insulting words. What more can be said about that?

And, in the scheme of life, where divorce is so so common (how many wives have Bibi and Donald had?) what happens to the Jews if Ivanka and Jared ever get divorced? That’s too painful and too scary to contemplate. Just a little thought here to exacerbate the panic. It could happen.

So Bibi and Don get together. Do we witness another Abe handshake which seemed to last as long as Gone With The Wind? Maybe a sophisticated kiss on both cheeks? A pat on the back cum hug which Don has become famous for? Soon we’ll know.

But it’s the substance that counts we say. Will it be good for the Jews? What exactly is good for the Jews anyway? The Jews I know don’t want these expanded settlements. They think they’re counter to Jewish values and are destructive. And we don’t want to move the embassy either. Let’s first clean up the mess and put the map in order.

Seems like the takeaway will depend on what you were hoping for at the start.

So how will it go. Who knows? I know we’ll all tune in.

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of two. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.