Magazine article Tikkun

Sex in Israel

Magazine article Tikkun

Sex in Israel

Article excerpt

Vol. 10, No. 2. 1995.

The Hope of Two Thousand Years

URI: THE NAME MEANS LIGHT. But another meaning inheres, for in the first syllable of "Uri" blinks the name of the ancient city out of which our forefather Abraham, touched by God, arose to meet his new life. In English, by no coincidence, the word "ur" means something primitive, unpolished-something at its beginnings. As an American friend once said to him, "Uri, you are a rough draft."

Which was not completely fair to Uri, an Israeli man not yet thirty, who possessed that combination of sweetness and brash self-certainty that marks our brothers in the Homeland. Yes, he was unpolished, but which of us is not, after all, an unrevised early version of what-like artists, revising as we go-we know we could become?

Uri had an easy manner. If he was behind you in the supermarket line and you lacked ten shekels for your purchase, without even thinking he would plunk down the coins for you, addressing you with a click of the tongue and an upturned hand to let you know he's half insulted that you even think you need to thank him.

True, his generosity is partly impatience: His hands and feet are already moving behind the obstacle you represent, he wants to get going and you have already taken one hundred seconds of his time while you laboriously explore your pockets and purse and explain your predicament to the checkout girl. He's willing to pay ten shekels just in order to stop standing on this line.

Because he is part Moroccan, with that beautiful dark, pouty, ardent, expressive face that can burst-pitom!- like sunshine into a big smile, and because he wears tight European-style pants and keeps the top four buttons of his shirt open to display the golden Star of David he wears on his chest, some people mistake him at first for one of the chakchakim who may be found in public places in the development towns especially, trying to make the acquaintance of young women. "Hey, sweet, you want to drink a cup of coffee with me?"

But Uri is really nothing like a Moroccan chakchak guy. He is tall, for one thing, which is probably because his mother is American, and Americans somehow grow tall. Also, because he is half-American, he thinks differently than most of the guys he went through the army with.

For example, he thinks about God. …

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