Last night, we celebrated Caleb's bar mitzvah with a party in Tel Aviv with our small group of 18, complete with balloons, a torah shaped cake and a slightly schlocky singer from Jerusalem. We folk danced, sang Yiddish songs, including one my sister and I remember my grandmother singing to us when we were children and--13 year old boys being 13 year old boys--there were many antics: wrestling, the neat trick of dangling a spoon from one's nose and an aborted night mission to the beach (the grandparents in the group nixed the idea).
Earlier in the day, my sister, husband, nephews and I strolled the port in Tel Aviv, watching tap dancers, having some mediocre but much needed wine and watching a brilliant sunset over the Mediterranean sea. Quite a different bar mitvah experience than dee jays, disco balls and dancing girls.
Today, we poked around our little neighborhood of Nevet Tzedek, breakfasting at our new favorite place (1887--the year when this neighborhood was founded), then popping into the Natan Guttman museum. Guttman was a Chagall-esque artist who favored chubby bathers, animals, naive scenes of old Tel Aviv and rough clay sculptures. Lovely. Then we checked out Rochan house, the first dwelling in Tel Aviv outside of the Jaffa neighborhood. It was full of whimsical sculptures and furniture from the early 20th century. Now we are picking up our rental car and off to Beersheva, where my husband has a business appointment. Getting in the groove.