Israel Cultural Insights Top 10 – Be Insightful And Travel Well
There are certain things that you know about Israel Cultural Insights. Not because you would be penalized if you don’t, but you would benefit if you do. As they say, why be uncomfortable when you can be nice, and cozy and enjoying your vacation?
So, here go the top 10 Israel Cultural Insights:
Israel Cultural Insight 1: Do not settle for the price asked if you are in Suk HaCarmel in Tel Aviv, or the Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem
This applies to all shuks (open air markets) and local markets in general. It is not that everybody here wants to fleece you, but the Israeli national characteristic is that we love a good bargain. In fact that is half right, we love to talk. My uncle and his buddy from school are continuing the same argument that they began twenty years ago.
Israel Cultural Insight 2: Do not limit yourself to hummus and falafel
I admit that it is quite easy to get hooked to these two delicacies, but both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv have restaurants offering the very best in Israeli cuisine with a lot of experimentation going on. I know Jerusalem can be a bit overwhelming for first timers, and there is a tendency not to think too much about food.
I recommend avoiding this trap–as the food is something of a novelty for the palate, and you should not miss it for anything.
Israel Cultural Insight 3: Do not enter the Dead Sea immediately after waxing
My sister’s friend from Sydney had a horrendous time at the Dead Sea for nobody had warned her about its salinity, and she had entered it right after waxing. The open pores on the skin burn like hell, and the sensation of floating in the sea where nobody can drown goes for a toss.
But not to worry, here are my top 10 things to remember when visiting the Dead Sea.
Israel Cultural Insight 4: Do not fall off the map in rural areas, the Golan Heights
The lure of the uncharted is the best kick for anybody bitten with wander lust. But areas around the Golan Heights, the Dead Sea, and rural areas can lead off into places that may make a visitor not feel comfortable.
Israel Cultural Insight 5: Do not dress as Madonna, or Lady Gaga while visiting the religious sites
While generally Israelis are not very particular about what you are wearing unless it is only your smile, the unwritten dress code at religious sites is an entirely different matter. It is expected that the head and the portion below the waist is covered up adequately. ‘Papa, don’t preach’ kind of attitude won’t be looked at with amusement, if you are in shorts and visiting a mosque for instance.
The beaches are there for wearing what you like, or not wearing what you don’t. But please make sure you are dressed very modestly (even conservatively) when visiting religious shrines.
Israel Cultural Insight 6: Do not go for late night skinny-dipping in the summer
Yes, I am aware of the temptation. But usually jelly fishes are around this time of the year as well, and it would be a disastrous idea stepping in without knowing the history of the beach in advance.
Israel Cultural Insight 7: Do not expect to get good food outside on a Yom Kippur evening
On the Jewish fasting days that end in the evening, it is almost impossible to get your choice food outside unless you have previously arranged for it. The city turns out for food after breaking the fast.
Israel Cultural Insight 8: Do not feel guilty if you can’t see all of Israel
Whatever they say about its size and everything, it is really difficult to see all of Israel in a short visit. Think of it like you have earned a next time.
Israel Cultural Insight 9: Do not feel guilty if you miss a museum or two
Israel is full of museums, and the urge to give a few of them a miss is phenomenal. It is one thing to love the past, and completely another to feel weighed down by it.
Israel Cultural Insight 10: Do not joke about the holocaust
Please do not joke about the holocaust while visiting Israel. If not for anything else, it shows that the person making the joke has a bad sense of humor.
While this list is short, it’s sweet and super helpful for when visiting Israel. Israeli’s love to have a good time, but having that little bit of insider knowledge can help leaps and bounds.