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Editor in dingy with Chavis Regal and Vodka

Preppy attempting to blow up the dingy

Preppy with the Sponge Bob Square Pants surf board

Netanya Beach-Reuven where are you?

Editor's Special Report from Israel: Could we get home on a Dingy? And Will Preppy find Her Match?

by Rhonda Spivak, July 24, 2014


[Editor's note: As I write this, it appears Air Canada has resumed flight service to Israel but Rhonda Prepes has not been able to confirm this by telephone as no one at the Air Canada office in Tel Aviv or Canada is answering the phone. I am scheduled to fly out August 1 to Vienna by Austrian Airlines. But as of now, although some European Airlines have resumed service, Austrian Airlines has not yet done so.]


Yesterday as I began thinking about the options for exiting Israel in case flights don’t resume I remembered that I had an inflatable dingy that my cousin Aviva Shwartzfeld gave us a few years ago since we are so near the Netanya beach. (It was the same year that there were Floatillas to Gaza, and I remember joking that  if I stood around with my dingy on Netanya beach I might be able to hook up with the Floatillas that were taking off from Turkey or Greece and going to Gaza.) Alas we packed up the dingy in one of the bedrooms and I completely forgot about it.....


I suggested to Rhonda Prepes ("otherwise known as Preppy') who is here with me now (her first trip to Israel since she was 23, and she is turning 50 soon, like I am), that if all else fails; we should consider the "dingy option."


We do have "a sponge bob square pants surf board" (and she had been hoping to try some surfing in Netanya) which we bought my son Dov when he was about 8 years old, for about 80 shekels ($25 bucks). That would be a lot cheaper than buying a new ticket from El Al to Winnipeg, but alas, after some serious contemplation, we didn't think Preppy's surfing skills would be good enough to get her to Cyprus (let alone Haifa, the nearest Israeli port!).


When faced with this sobering realization, we brought out the dingy-which I would describe as "gently used" and in mint condition overall. Preppy excitedly began to blow up the dingy for her journey back to Canada, until we realized that my cousin Aviva neglected to give us the oars to go with the dingy.


Since we didn't have the oars, I offered to throw in a bottle of the Russian Vodka and Chevis Regal for Preppy's journey. We bought a new bottle a few days ago and drank a L'Chaim before sending off our friends Orli, Ariel, Chana and Eli back to Ashkelon, where they have been bombarded with sustained rocket attacks from Hamas. There was a direct hit to a house near where they all live which suffered damage and luckily didn't kill anyone, and in a previous round of Hamas rocket attacks a missile actually landed in Chana and Eli's garden. When the missile landed, Chana and Eli were in the stairwell of their building as they live on the top floor and couldn’t make it to the building shelter on time. The missile actually had to be detonated underground so that no one would be hurt.


That's when I remembered about Reuven, a 42 year old man from Netanya who I met the one day I ventured into the sea, and wondered if he might be able to help Preppy out on her dingy journey.


Reuven introduced himself to me while I was jumping the waves, asking me if my name was Revital. When I said "no", he then asked me if I was "divorced."  I paused for a second and thought to myself that I had just spoken to my husband Stephen and he hadn't mentioned that he was divorcing me, and even if he were, how would Reuven know? And I had just spoken to my son Dov who had said "Have Fun in Israel, Mom" but it hadn't dawned on me that that was his way of hinting that Stephen was going to divorce me!). I answered Reuven confidently "No, I am not divorced" but then I added that I had a friend from Canada who was interested in meeting someone, as I thought to myself "Preppy, where are you when I need you?"


Since I was speaking to Reuven in Hebrew I asked him if he spoke any English and he said he didn't, but he spoke some French. Great, I thought to myself, Preppy doesn't speak much Hebrew, and she speaks very little French. It's a perfect match--there is no obvious common language. Then I asked Reuven what he did for a living and he answered "Hasaot" which means he's in "the transportation business" and I thought, great, Preppy doesn't have a car. She could use someone in the transportation business. Reuven wanted to get my apartment number (and the number one rule with Israeli men is never to give them your apartment number) but I said I'd take his cell phone number so Preppy could call him. He started telling me the number saying it was easy to remember but when he began calling out the numbers, I said I'd have to get out of the water to write the number down. That's because his number sounded similar to the number of David Bedein, a 60 plus year old observant journalist I work with who has six kids and I didn't want to confuse the numbers and have Preppy calling David Bedein for a date! Just then, a big wave came and knocked me over, submerging me under water and I was thankful that the current hadn't whisked away my prescription sunglasses that I was wearing. When I re-emerged from the wave, my mouth full of salt water, I realized I had better get back to the Israeli couple who was watching my keys and money while I was in the water as they looked like they were getting ready to leave. The long and the short of it is that I got out of the water and then with all the wave action, lost sight of Reuven completely, and never got Preppy his number. It's a sore point with her.


Now if I only could get Preppy set up in the dingy, on Netanya's beach, she may just be able to find Reuven somewhere swimming in the waves. If so, who knows, maybe she'd decide she'd like to stay in Israel a few more days after all!


[Editor's note: In truth, I have been successful in "matching" up one Winnipeg couple at a Herzlia synagogue fundraising dinner a few years ago, who can vouch for my match making skills. They know who they are.] 

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.