Nicky Imber Rebirth

Jerusalem and Tzfat

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Did you ever get confused when you dial a number? Well, I certainly did on this trip.

It’s dinner time. My son and I are hankering for a nice, juicy steak. (Do you know how difficult it is to go out and order a steak? Of course not- you don’t keep kosher. We have to either live in Manhattan [among three or four other places in the States] or be in Israel to do this.)

So, I called one of the better steak places in Jerusalem. It’s expensive. (But, we’re worth it.) And, it’s about a 2 minute walk from our hotel. Made the reservation. We’re excited.

We leave our hotel and walk to the restaurant. And, it’s closed. Like permanently.

Well, it’s pretty obvious that’s NOT the restaurant holding our reservation. So, I hit redial on my cell phone. (Oh, it’s so great that my phone works in Jerusalem.) And, realize I made the reservation for the other restaurant we checked out. Also, highly rated, but not where we are- it’s about a 15 minute walk away. Down hill.

Which forces me to recognize two things. One, walking home – on a full stomach and laden with wine- means going uphill! Two, we are going to be late for our reservation.

Old Train Station Jerusalem

We head off to a part of Jerusalem i don’t recall ever visiting. Which makes this exciting. And, the venue is great. There’s live music. (Our restaurant is in the old train station.) We both order our steaks- mine is to be almost ‘still walking’ and my son’s is to be medium rare. Except they bring his well done and mine medium rare. (My son disagrees- he swore it was rare- just not Roy rare.) We have them take the well done one back, my son takes mine, and I await a flash broiled version of the steak. Yum.

Then, we head off to one of the contiguous bars (so my son can taste yet more exotic beers) and enjoy the music. And, then we head home. Oops. I mean to our hotel.

Tzfat (Safed)

The next morning, we’re up early and head up to Tzfat in our Eldan rent-a-car. (Yes, they also rent cars!) More driving. And, we get to Tzfat and walk around the artist quarter. (Hills and more hills.) My son finds the mezuza he wants. (He sends a picture to his significant other for her approval. Except, she is fast asleep. It’s only 3:30 AM in the States.) And, we walk around some more. Once the approval arrives, he buys his find, and we leave for Carmiel. (OK. I got a parking ticket in Safed. But, I’m protesting it.)

Why Carmiel? It was one of the first development towns in Israel. Erected to house the thousands of holocaust survivors and immigrants coming to Israel right after the War. (Not the 1948 War- but World War II.) And, that’s why Nikki Imber, a famous artist, had erected a series of statues describing the 20th century Jewish experience. And, one of them had affected me enough years ago that I own a more modest version of his artwork. (I couldn’t quite manage to carry a 24 foot tall statue home, now, could I?)

Niki Imber Holocaust
The Holocaust by Niki Imber
Niki Imber Holocaust to Resurrection
From Holocaust to Resurrection, Niki Imber






Niki Imber, the Hope (Hatikva)
Hatikva by Niki Imber

The 3 statues are called “The Holocaust”, “From Holocaust to Resurrection”, and “The Hope”. By the way, the hope in Hebrew is Hatikva- the anthem of the Jews since the days of Hertzl and a modernized version of it is the Israeli National Anthem. And, Hatikva is the sculpture I own.

Nicky Imber Rebirth

From Carmiel, we returned home. But, we stopped for a meal at restaurant situated on the promontory over the Mediterranean in Netanya. Unfortunately, the meal wasn’t as good as I remembered- and the wine list went to hell in a handbasket. But, the view. OK. I’ve caught my breath.

Netanya Promontory
Overlooking the Mediterranean

From Netanya to our hotel. And, then to a bar with live jazz. Wonderful live jazz. Reminiscent of my nights in Greenwich Village when i was a teenager. (Yes, my son acquired yet more beers for his contest.)

Layla tov.

(That’s good night, in case you didn’t know.)

Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.


This is a continued travelogue of our trip from Auschwitz to Israel.  It starts here to here, then to Prague  to our first day in Israel  to today’s post.  (There will be more this week, too.)

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