Sunday, September 25, 2005

dead sea vacation

My company went on vacation this week to a nice hotel at the Dead Sea. The whole family was invited. Last year during the company vacation, the other employees stayed at a non-kosher hotel so we stayed with the other religious family at a religious hotel. This year the hotel was kosher, and the other religious family opted to go to a hotel in Jerusalem instead because they felt there would not be a religious environment at this hotel. I decided to stay at the hotel with everyone.
It was a nice place, everything included, food, drink, alcoholic and regular, popsicles... My wife's massage cost extra, but that was the only thing I paid for. The free bar was open 24 hours a day and there was a night club as well.

Shabbos may have been a bit much for the children. It was hot outside so they didn't want towalk around. Everyone else in the hotel was out at the pool, and we wouldn't go out to sit there because it was a non-shabbos and non-tznius environment. We got around a lot of the non-tznius issues on Friday. We got up early and floated in the dead sea when no one else was there and we swam in the pool before most people woke up. I don't wear my glasses and my wife wears a long teeshirt that covers her knees. But in the afternoon when it was hot as hell (it is the closest place to hell on earth) the kids were dying to go in the pool and I wouldn't let them because it was too full of people. So we finally agreed on a compromise and we went into the kiddie pool, which was empty and the kids had fun spashing around in that.

On one level I understand my religious colleague's view that it was better to go to a religious hotel. On the other hand, that is basically saying that we must completely seperate ourselves from non-religious people. My decision was that in the name of Jewish unitywe could handle a little bit of discomfort and show the rest of the company that we are willing to mingle as long as it doesn't break any of our red lines. Using the same reasoning, I go out for lunch with the guys every Tuesday because they go to a kosher place. Don't think that is a no-brainer in Israel. In Haifa there aren't that many kosher places. Thursday they go out for treif. So Tuesday is the day that I set aside to be one of the guys. The message is basically, if you do something that I can do, then I will be happy to join in. I think that does cause some influence, because they think about us when planning certain activities and just assume the other family won't come.

It's very hard on the kids though to try and explain the beauty of shabbos while everyone else is having a seemingly good time. It's like a lung cancer doctor watching a crowd of people smoking and having a great time and then trying to convince his son that smopking is bad, even if it looks cool. When you are so certain that what they are doing is harmful to themselves as well as to others, even if it is not apparant, it is just like smoking and secondhand smoke, where the damage is not apparant, but it is very real and they say the secondhand is worse.
So my daughter wanted to yell shabbos at them, and my wife wouldn't let her. So I told her to throw rocks when my wife wasn't looking.

It was an interesting and fun weekend.

1 comment:

Rolling hills of green said...

He really told her you can't teach people the beauty of anything by yelling at them.