Our recent trip to Israel was unlike any other. We boarded the plane to attend the Brit Milah of our first Israeli-born grandson, BenTzion Yedidyah, and because of it, had delayed seeing our first Israeli-born granddaughter, Talia Ariel, born on Purim and now three months old. (Of course, we went to see our children, too.)
Our geographical locus was different as well. Micah and Alyssa now live in Modi’in; Ezra and Shiri are in Elkana, but are soon moving nearby to Rosh ha-Ayin. All are located in the center of Israel. Yerushalayim and Efrat, in the south, may now be only brief visits.
Modi’in, a modern, government-planned city, is built on the home of the original Maccabees, and was deliberately chosen because it lies between Yerushalayim and Tel Aviv. Modi’in’s center features a modern train station linking it to both major cities, and includes a direct line to Ben Gurion airport (about 20 minutes) and a line going north up the coast. Marian and I took the train to Yerushalayim; it was clean, and included tables for work or play between the opposing seats, and a phone charging outlet at every seat. The trip took 1 hour and 20 minutes only because we first had to go to the airport and transfer to the train to Yerushalayim; in the near future it is expected to take a mere 20 minutes. Israel’s construction and transportation has been a source of pride.
Modi’in features over 100 parks throughout its residential neighborhoods, along with schools. Although most of the residential areas are apartments, there are houses with gardens as well. The central area includes a large mall; a good number of restaurants, nearly all which were kosher, are found in strip malls and individual locations. There is also a civic center with a library nearby, synagogues, local and inter-city bus transportation, and other shopping. Modi’in was originally planned for 90,00 people, then expanded to 120,000, but I read that there are plans to expand to 250,000. A young country, with many newborns, Israel is visibly expanding. The Gordons have contributed a few new citizens and hopefully there will be many more.
Aside from exploring Modi’in and a day trip to Ra'anana (just north of Tel Aviv, with a large boulevard for shopping, food, and professional services ), and dining with Shiri’s grandparents in Haifa, our trainride and day in Yerushalayim, we spent time with our family (see pics).