Open fighting broke out in Tel Aviv last week.
No casualties were reported, but hundreds of people got wet.
At the fifth annual Water Fight (waterwar5.info), some 500 young Israelis and tourists squirted each other in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, the city’s central gathering spot, near the municipality building.
This year’s slogan was “Fighting over every drop,” the theme was water conservation and the general purpose was fun.
Water conservation in a water fight?
If you think Israeli success in international sports these days, you think windsurfing.
That’s the competition, also known as sailboarding, in which a racer rides the waves on a surfboard attached to a sail.
Israel earned its only Olympic gold medal in history, at the Athens Games of 2004, for windsurfing, and it earned a bronze, also in windsurfing, at Beijing last year.
‘From mourning to joy” is a slogan in Jewish life.
In Israel, it’s an annual ritual.
Every year in spring, the Jewish State marks Yom HaZikaron, its memorial day for fallen soldiers, then, as the sun sets that night, it gives way to Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day.
No, the kids outfitted in crowns and capes aren’t real monarchs — just a pair of young members of the Vizhnitz chasidic community listening to the Megillah reading on Purim this week in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv.
Throughout the country — and Jewish communities in the diaspora — Jews of all ages and all religious affiliations attended Megillah readings, dressed up in costumes, attended parties, drank copious amounts of distilled brew and took part in festive parades.
Imagine there’s no controversy.
It’s not so easy in Israel, but former Beatle Paul McCartney, on his first visit to the Jewish state last week, tried.
Forty-three years after the Beatles were to give a concert in Israel — the concert fell through because of either conservative politicians or dueling promoters — Sir Paul performed in Tel Aviv’s HaYarkon Park, ignoring protests by Palestinian politicians and threats by Islamic clerics.
This was Ruth Calderon's Shavuot experience as a child in Tel Aviv: She bought cheese for her family's cheesecake, shopped for fruits for an elementary school agricultural presentation and picked out a new white blouse to wear.
Her family and her school were secular. Calderon never learned the spiritual significance of Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
"Shavuot as a holiday faded for us," she says.
Each year for the last decade Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride Parade has marched through the streets of the Mediterranean-side city.
Last week, for the first time, it began at a new municipal center for Israel’s homosexual community.
It is the fifth round of a martial arts championship fight and the two strapping gladiators are fighting exhaustion as well as each other. Moti Horenstein is exchanging punches and kicks with Peter Vine.
"It was a matter of who wanted it more," Horenstein says in his Spring Valley office, narrating his 1996 Shidokan match at Chicago's Bismarck Palace.
They were showing the flag a lot in Israel this week. And a lot of flags.
Preceded by Yom HaZikaron, the annual day of remembrance for the soldiers who have fallen in Israel’s defense, Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, marked the country’s 60th birthday.
There were fireworks and torch lightings, concerts and speeches, a bike race and Bedouin festival, TV documentaries and parachute shows.
And it all began with the raising of the state flag at Mount Herzl.