Israel Rides The Rails
trains travel between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
nom zero-to-hero is the way a friend
was suspended in 1998 after a series
describes the growth of the Israeli
due to worn-out track. The
passenger railroad system.
An efficient rail alternative in
Israel is essential. Rush-hour traffic in Tel
However, relief is on the way. After years of
Aviv is as bad as anything in the United States
fighting over what route to build on, Prime
— with Israeli gasoline prices $4 per gallon.
Minister Ariel Sharon ended it by ordering
Commuter service is offered from nearby
that two lines be built.
cities to four stations in Tel Aviv.
One will go from Tel Aviv to Ben-Gurion
In addition, one can travel from Beersheva
with a spur to Modi'in, southeast of
and Ashdod in the south up to Tel Aviv, then
Special to the
According to the Jerusalem Post,
north to Haifa or the end of the line in
take eight years to build.
Nahriyya. And the trains run on time, in spot-
Work has started on this line.
lessly clean comfort.
The other one will go through Bet Shemesh and
Traveling between Tel Aviv and Haifa, trains fly by
to Jerusalem, where a new station will be built. It
cars stuck in traffic. The view of countryside with its
that this would take two-and-a-half years
banana farms and coastal mountains is eye opening.
This route runs close to the Mediterranean, allow-
ing one to enjoy the sun setting into the sea. It also
passes Haifa Harbor where ships of the Israeli Navy
A UJA mission member I was traveling with
became excited when he saw the navy ships and
jumped out of his seat with his video camera. I
tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to the sol-
diers and suggested videotaping might not be a good
idea. (During boat tours of Haifa Harbor, one is told
not to film the ships.)
The rail system started growing with the opening
of new lines in the 1990s and the arrival in 1997 of
37 new passenger cars. These coaches have facing
high-backed, comfortable, cushioned seats with a
small table in front. In addition, 14 double-deck
passenger cars were added in July 2001.
Ridership, according to Israel Railways, has grown
One ofIsrael's new double-deck passenger trains.
to 1.5 million passengers a month. It is not unusual
to find trains with standing room only, particularly
If you are a railroad buff, there is an organization
on weekends when soldiers come home for Shabbat.
Israel called Pasim that shares your enthusiasm. Its
The major void in the Israeli rail system is- that no
Web site is wvvw.pasim.org The Web site for Israel
Railroad is www.israrail.org.il
Charles Reisman is a Detroit-area attorney who is a
15 t, Eon ©2002
here are many well-known daily
prayers; the Shema and the Borechu
are examples. Do you know which
prayer described as "daily" actually
is not recited on almost half the days of the
•.mad alp Supnp sleep 001
ufip Q.10111 uo pus iou si cssatmAISiosj scpop
s)isu tpqm qakaidunumpu atu, :Jamstry
"What unites us with the Jews of Israel, to
the Jews in Ethiopia, to the Jews that contin-
ue to live in Eastern Europe, and with Jews
all over the world, what do we have in com-
mon with them, our lives are different, our
occupations are different, our concerns are
different; what joins them and us is a state-
ment that Joseph uttered at the High Temple
Court: 'I am your brother. We are together."'
— Rabbi Irwin Groner, in the invocation at
the Jewish Federation of Metr opolitan Detroit's
major gifts appreciation dinner in Southfield.
"Italy's 35,000 Jews — out of a total popula-
tion of 59 million — are more important
than their numbers would indicate because
Italy today is celebrating its Jewish past as
one of the oldest sites of continuous Jewish
settlement in Europe."
— Bonny V Fetterman, literal), editor of
Reform Judaism, in the winter issue of
the Reform movement magazine, in the story
"Italy: Land of Renzemberance d Rediscovery"
frequent visitor to Israel.
An unconfirmed story I read
Maintains Barbra Streisand once said,
"Tans' sounds more polite,
But try as I might,
I call them nochshleppers* instead."
"I feel like a mommy when I light Shabbos candles. I think that when I pray at the Shabbos
candles, the people in the hospital get better and can go home. It's nice to see the candles
when we eat our Shabbos meal.
— Chana Liba Rabin, age 8
Sponsored by Luhavitch
submit a candlelighting
message or to receive
• Amzalak of Oak Park at
(248) 967-5056 or e-mail:
— Martha Jo Fleischmann
Friday, Dec. 27, 4:48 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 3, 4:54 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 28, 5:56 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 4, 6:01 p.m.
and information on Shabbat
candlelighting, call Miriam
Someone of great energy; a "fireball."
Source: The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten