This is Not New York, This is Tel Aviv.

“Omg it looks like new york” she said with glitter in her blue eyes. I smile at her because, how could I not, she loves New York. She loves New York because she didn’t grow up 40 minutes away from it. The strangely familiar visual changed the whole perspective of the place. She was right, it did look like New York.

But it’s just not New York. The air is different and the music is warming. This is not New York. This is Tel Aviv. This is a city that knows peace because it knows war. This is a type of place that has a tough exterior, but a loving inside. Not that New York hasn’t had it’s battles and Tel Aviv is the land of always peaceful, but something about the side street falafel and hummus assures you of it’s family values.

The small hours wandering a museum of Yitzhak Rabin makes a person wonder why it’s always the person advocating peace who pays the price of resting in it. Why?

The city marked on miracles and misfortune can make a mensch out of a menace. But who else can become a mensch but one who has been misfit? “One can only make peace with their enemies” the Rabin says. I say one can only know hurt by being so.

Just as we women know love because we know heartbreak. We know proper educate because we know how to act a fool. We are both sides of the coin and we argue for both sides of the case. For love, all for love. Love that we will one day be there on that day of peace as one, one of love. And then it rains, then the people say to life, “l’chaim!” As we start to head down stream. The night after the full moon, and now we have an eb to this flow. A dance to this music. The splash sound to droplets of truth, the poetry of going out on a gloomy night. Because tonight even in lit up streets we prefer to be in the dark.

This is not New York, this is Tel Aviv. This is where we know ourselves, because we don’t know what we will become. Where a night taking the one bus becomes the one night we acted like we were number one. Yes the night life is always face up, so we put our drinks down. Why not be young and free in the foreign priceless memories of a person’s early twenties. We have our youth, we are single, and we can choose to do whatever we want. Who cares if Jerusalem encourages us to wear sleeves.

This is the city of Tel Aviv, who were they to know anything about us as we jog down the streets and pass on wearing a sports bra. Who are they to know what the context of our character consist of? We are here to be ourselves regardless of the fact that if we stop to take a breath from running we wind up unintentionally racking up a guy’s number without even wanting it.

No I don’t think I’ll be texting you my name. It’s just too Israeli, it’s just so Tel Aviv. It’s too forward when you aren’t even in the mood. But we just keep pressing on like a soldier. We are fearless, and there’s a proud pace to our steps. But we can’t stop running, and the silence remembers that we are still that little afraid girl.

This is not New York. This is Tel Aviv, the city of parties-parties, restaurants, businesses, and stores. The lifestyle is full of different sounds and beautifully lit hidden side streets. It’s a lotus in a pond and its petals are the walls of its skyscrapers. We aren’t protected by any of the realities of Israel even if all the apartments must legally have one bomb shelter room. Because this is so not New York.

This is Tel Aviv. This is a new spring that flows from the eternal soul to seduce us with sensual allure. “This is the place to be,” a small voice may tell us. There has never been one who could resist the thoughts of temptation surrounded in a such a holy land.

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Text that Ex?

Tip tap-tip tap the timberland boots march onward without my mind to working with each step taken. I can see the people look at me as I whip by them at New Yorker’s pace. They can see the creases of joy my eyes make.

Breath in the fresh prana, look around at the fresh architecture, and just know yes, we’ve turned the car around. We hit the break, and with a breakdown breakthrough we knew the breakup was the best move. Blinded by a new city of brilliant smiles and wise street lighting the barely dark night hugs any doubt we may harbor. We could be going to a nice cafe, going out with the girls, or even just off to see a new possible love interest. We are on the path of our own choices. We love our life, we love how idealistic our lives have become, how simplified.

There is a cute guy who checks you out and a hot man with a stroller and a husky who doesn’t, and you just know all is right with the world. You did your morning workout, ate just the right amount, and even caught up on some reading.  

But a perfect as our night hours may be traveling around foreign city streets, our hearts remember the question, “What if I were home right now? Would I be so strong? Would I ignore the heaviness my chest harbors with the same resilience?”

Of course not, we know the truth that the second he sent the apology message or said hey on your birthday, we would break right there. We were in love, we still are. No matter how many times your girlfriends say, “your ex is an asshole” or our family encourages us he wasn’t right for us, there is something you just know about this person is different. Something about the situation is a special circumstance.

You are over the problems that seemed to come up in the past and time as well as new people you’ve gotten yourself involved with has shown you the reality of how big those little problems actually were. Everything was fine with your relationship, even almost exactly everything you could want, and if you decided to be bold you could have that with him again.

Yet we are alone. Hopelessly, but happily, isolated at our own free will. With the ability to be with anyone anywhere, however, here we are to ourselves. Sure there will be those that try to penetrate our thick layered bubble, but our hearts have been cut off and kept cold in a chamber within a secret treasure chest we don’t even possess the keys to. All we must do is find the key to unlock it! But this time there will be no helpers in the art to winning our hearts, we must slay the dragon all on our own with our cute manicured princess nails.

We wonder further down into the dungeon, to the pits of self, “Why don’t we just reach out to the one hero we know has the keys to our heart?” The question lingers on a late night glass of wine and lays in our lap as we finally turn off the lights. It’s dangerous in these dark hours, these late hours, these hours that remind you, “What if it’s too late? Has it been too long? Should I have not left him in the dark?” Fingers dancing around the trigger very little stops us but the terrifying final thought, “Maybe he’s with someone else?”

We remove our eyes off the screen we roll our minds back to the bed and call it a rest. We feel we’ve run out of time the sand in the glass has slipped away and the window of opportunity has ceased to be letting in a drift.

Tonight is just not that night.

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In The Ocean of Love.

Hot, hot, HOT. We want to be so steaming we need a cold shower. One could spend their whole life looking for that irresistible intimacy. How will we find it? What do we do once it’s lost? People say that there’s a whole world out there, they tell you to swim far and fast to truly see what’s in the sea but do they really know of how lost love affairs sink into our soul? In the ocean of love why do we only want one fish in the sea? Here in Tel Aviv I see the waters beginning to change. Yes Jerusalem will still be a spiritual center with the enigmatic spectacle of street cat calls but, here in Tel Aviv we are in the land of free the nipple and hide your heart. So get prepared to take a few more showers, things are about to get dirty. Or maybe not. If a guy you find attractive is clearly checking you out, do you wish to cast a line? The eye contact was afloat on dry land so why do I feel moved by strange tides that make me latch to the shores? “Who needs the drama of real love,” one voice says, the other says, “Who needs the theatrics of sex?” Adrift as I may be there is one thing swimming in the waters I can see in full confidence, “Who actually starts a relationship from friendship? What’s the point of a soul mate if there’s not soul when you mate?” Of course it’s vital to be friends as well as lovers, but are we really to believe that is all we want from our partner is compatible conversation? Waves of warmth that’s what we crave, the spark of life, the build up of something that gets us sincerely soaked.

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Stay Celibate or Seek Consummation?

“Shalom,” I said as I wandered on by. His friend starts to sing, “beautiful girl” as I kick up my pace. It’s absolutely amazing to witness, one look and a guy already knows he wants to sleep you. Quite frankly he could be as cute as Cam Gigandet and we’d probably still have to consider his resume over a month before he passed the filtration process, and that’s with the label, “boyfriend” stamped on his profile for a month! Feminists around the world sneer at the thought of it, but the truth: Women are different than men! We talk a lot more, lift a lot less, etc. Though this little encounter got this little lady to wonder, “Why are women so different when it comes to their sex life?”

Once upon a time, a high school peer of mine said, “a lock that can open for any key is a shitty lock but a key that can open any lock is a master key.” Basically it summed up the double standard within a two sentence mastermind metaphor no one could challenge. Who wouldn’t want to be a master key? It seems to be the fair statement to suggest that men are the keys and women are locks due to the parts they represent but sometimes in the modern day, we millennials like a little role reversal. Stick to the same story every time and things go stale, and no one likes a cliche!

Ever see a really average looking girl with an dead drop gorgeous guy or an old ugly fat woman with a young looking man? Two words for those girls: Master Keys. Though even though we find times when the guy’s heart is a item a girl would like to unlock, the latter analogy is alive and well. Religions all across the world sell female sexuality as a commodity to barder and trade. The funny part being if she’s a virgin then she will be of even higher value, which is kind of like saying, “I’ll take the one who definitely doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing.” Wait till marriage the rabbis say, sex is sacred! There is nothing so sacred about a low sex drive, ignorance of intimacy, or sexual dysfunction between two people now committed for life.

Don’t forget, things aren’t much better in the West either. Sex sells says the New York billboards and look how much money you can make off your beauty instagram insures. In the “land of the free,” home of the birth control, why are we still feeling sold, bought, and used? After a while of these thoughts flying across oceans and seas women still have a lot to talk about in actualizing what to tell future daughters and their daughters. Will we tell our baby girls to stay celibate or seek consummation as they please?

Of course no mother would tell her daughter to sleep with as many men as possible before marriage, but fathers tell sons all the time to do just that. Little boys are one issue with this type of mentality but worst we send women out there with the double bind of enjoy your beauty but don’t be a floozy. For guys the message is pretty direct, conquer as much as you can, for girls the message is as grey as the sky in the morning on our walk of shame home. How empowering is it when we need to have a slut walk through Time Square?

So when engaged with an intimate counterpart of the opposite gender, when is the time we can fully “let our hair down” and go down on our mate? Realistically no girl is sleeping with a new man every night unless she’s in a seriously low place considering women don’t just want the sex, they want intimacy. Women’s need to be emotionally fulfilled in full blown lustful encounters matter way more than a man who looked up and down at a women on the street and right then decided he was down to be up her bottom. So maybe a little bit of an intense dating process is needed for courtship, but what is the median between his way, her way, and the way that ensures a lifetime of love and libido?   

 

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Everyone Marries A Stranger.

There it was, the thought we’ve all tried to shut down immediately, “everyone marries a stranger.” As fully grown intelligent adults we would love to believe that we know the person we get intimately involved with. The reality, however, is that the divorce rates say otherwise. We don’t really know what we are getting into when we say, “I do.”

Putting a ring on someone’s finger doesn’t exactly say that because a diamond will last the long run the bride and the groom will too. We try to see what our parents have done to make it through the years but most of us in this modern masquerade perform a masterpiece of misery. A series of unfortunate events gone viral throughout the families lines and eventually created the chaos in which we came out of.

All of this comes with smiling pictures in sunny picture frames only to notice a side of a coke addict spouse and a history of infidelity. Where have we gone so wrong in our culture? It seems as if even some of the most honorable American family systems are breaking down in the most unexpected ways. When that one good dad everyone knew as a honorable moral character finds himself with a not-so-faithful-anymore-fling, why even bother believing in the ring?

But call it the eternal hopeless romantic of a little girl’s big dreams, we trust that one day we will find someone to love and be loved by. We wish upon a shooting star, blow another eyelash off our cheek, and tap our heels together three times to ensure that love will bring us back home in the arms of our beloved.

It’s too bad the reality is a tornado has hit and all we really can do is be happy we are still alive after the fact. Twisted love stories aside, when we do finally build up the confidence to lay our hand out to be taken by a real man, and not one from a fairytale, we must know that we are engaged in some stranger-danger.

We may have dated for 5 years or only 5 months but still the probability of failure and success stays the same. Just the other night I met a woman who was engaged and I asked her, “How long has she been with her fiance?” She casually replies two months and she’ll be married in three more, “It’s common in my culture” she added. Sure orthodox jews speed up the dating process and don’t even touch until the wedding night, but did that make their marriages any more or less successful? Numbers say the odds don’t discriminate regardless of what customs we practice but there definitely was something to what the rabbi said today.

It is from our absolute dedication to a solemn vow that makes the difference between romantic inquirers and life-long lovers. Dating to encounter as many experiences possible to discern what fits with an individual’s eccentric energy is a precarious pursuit with no guarantee and the hazardous hidden cost of heartbreak. Is it just best we stop searching, settle down, and tie a sturdy knot?

Devoting our lives to a man we know now doesn’t mean we will be married to that same man in the next fifteen years after time has worn him down to the truth. The question then seems to expand into wondering how to unlocking a man’s inner integrity. How can we find such a key if we are dealing with an incomplete and puzzling lock? We seem to forget that marriage is the most binding contract between two people especially when involving children.The whole thought process makes, “till death do us part” sound more like, “part of our own personal deaths.” So we better choose wisely and listen up,

How does one judge a man’s character only on what he has done today, and not what he will do in the future?     

I guess with Yom Kippur hanging over men and women’s heads alike, we can all agree only an infinite being is capable of having that answer.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below! We would love to hear your thoughts and for inquiries email: Victoriaantis1996@gmail.com Thanks, Shana Tova!

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Men and Women: Are Some Sexist Gender Roles Important?

There’s nothing like waking up in the early morning to go to a jewish learning center and hear a seriously sexist rabbi talk about men and women. Sitting in the classroom you begin to get thoughts like, “Does he really think that the world works this way? How much longer can someone sit through this brainwashing perspective? And I may agree that things were seriously messed up back in cavemen times but, really, this is how you see men and women?” The rabbi’s thoughts were that back in beginning of time when survival was the main focus and everything else was secondary, women traded sex for protection against the elements of the forest. Fine, we can understand women are not known to be big warriors with their larger fat to muscle ratio but, in times where we don’t just rape and pillage everything that comes our way one can safely say that women’s goals aren’t necessarily alined with that kind of thinking anymore. Maybe because women are capable of being just as fierce as their male counterparts, but more likely because we as a society are so far beyond that point where war and attraction are glorified things. Or at least we hope that beauty and strength aren’t the only two categories a human can fall into.  Beauty plus strength equals harmony.

That’s been a personal motto to help understand not the combined efforts of two individuals, but the inner spiritual combination of a whole independently functioning person. Sure, Beauty can meet Strength and they can fall happy in love for a time but without Beauty having a little strength of her own and Strength being void of any beauty it is a matter of common sense the two will lose interest. Besides beauty and strength are just expressions of power and they can both have varying expressions of mental, emotional, or physical beauty or strength, and because of this the balance of all these aspects in a person is way more complex than just being strong or handsome. Everyone is given the physical aspects by chance, we are given our authentic features for drawing in a mate to procreate with us and then we are given our muscle make up for the mechanics of survival. Though when it comes to our mental and emotional expression, it is likely that the artistic charm and robust might are cultivated with the learning curve of experience. And when it comes to being wise and experienced, nothing can help an individual learn more than from failure. From those failures we detect our deepest insecurities or better known as weaknesses. It’s true: We turn our weakness into strength.

But once we have this manifested strength it is still not enough to make us whole. We cannot self-actualize completely based only on the fact we slayed the dragon, we have to win the heart of beauty to know we claimed a prize worth fighting for in the first place. There is no point to having all this inherent power without the ability to love. So: We turn our strength into beauty.

A lot of old school sexist ideas are written into the code of our archetype simply because this is a perception us humans all encounter being equipped with the moral virtues gained from animal kingdom exile. We are blessed with the structure to have a society built on love and honor if those in question are righteous enough to up hold those values but don’t let these extreme feminist get in your head: some sexists ideas are in place for a purpose. It is not to say that women can’t be independent or strong, or that men cannot be codependent or emotional, it is to say that with both these two aspects of masculine and feminine running through each individual it is vital we articulate their unique qualities to draw new found strength and beauty.

A lot of what I am saying can be summed up from looking at the tarot cards of the magician, the high priestess, the empress, and the emperor.

Men’s ego are so huge mainly because it’s a survival instinct to protect and to do so, men are based off the principle of power. This inflation of ego allows them to put pressure on themselves to provide value and gain a position of leadership. But in order for this male to gain that status he must first have a talent for manifestation, be resourceful, and have inspired action to acquire his power. This state is rather primitive being that the man in question has his focus on the creation of self: The boy on the quest to become a man, otherwise known as the Magician.

Women’s emotions are so over developed to ensure that they can connect to relationships around them because they are based off a principle of love. This interconnection to other forms of life is bred into women’s character to give them the insight necessary for their survival. Their intuition guides them to to make decisions based off of the sacred knowledge that comes from the journey within. Were as the Magician is to go out into the world to prosper, the High Priestess goes into herself to use her subconscious understandings of emotional power. She sees that men’s power comes from being able to go out and give, so she uses her inner wisdom to retain and receive. She is complex and therefore is both an independent, yet an interdependent character on her ability to create a relationship between the spiritual and the physical. This is normally why we associate women with beauty because it is that relationship with the divine that makes us so virtuous.

Higher expressions of these two archetypes is the Empress and The Emperor. Now the woman learns to take what she’s received and retained and give back, “new life,” and the Emperor takes what he sought after to build the foundation for his leadership chair. Here women are Queens and men are Kings and they rule together. Whereas before the Magician and the High Priestess were only in a romantic mating phase that is trying to learn to take two completely opposing energies of masculine and feminine and turn them into complements, the two now create a powerful love relationship. The Empress and the Emperor give structure to the future of a family or even more ambitious: a nation.

The gender roles are not something meant to be confined to completely but by understanding what traits they express in each individual may we combine both the beauty and strength of masculine and feminine to actualize a holy harmony.        

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Right Guy, Wrong Time.

Walking through The street of Jerusalem, one could appreciate the aromas of fresh baked bread and the sight of happy families searching for some dinner in the shuk. Loud as the growls of a fasting stomach the thought kept flipping over in my mind. “The right guy at the wrong time is the wrong guy,” that’s what a friend said to me this morning. It must be true, time has spoken and it’s intuitive response was a no go. Most people run through relationships like they run through cell phones, and everyone always seems to be upgrading even if their phone is brand new. Something inside says there’s no point of getting a new device if the person using the technology doesn’t even know how to handle all its power.

When a woman goes through a breakup it’s vital to her self-image to enjoy the music of being single and take this next slow dance solo. Yeah, it’s a lot to ask to put ourselves in check and take ‘me,’ off the market. It takes serious self-control not to totally forget the emotional state we are in and focus in on our relationship with ourselves. Seeing so many amazing guys pass us by it gets deceiving knowing we aren’t ready to fall back in love with someone else. 

“Is he the one and I just don’t know it because I’m emotionally numb right now? Am I missing a blessing or is this just a test from the universe of how great is my moral character?” Tempted as we are to fill the void of one relationship with another, we all know that it’s impractical. He could be the most practical option, a Harvard graduate, a man who values family, a great conversationalist, and even treats you like a queen out in the real world and in the sheets, but still he couldn’t compete with the damage done to a broken heart.

“How long will it take?” we mourn the amount of time it takes like the impatience to break a fast. Growling to move on, we keep moving forward without a clue of direction only knowing it’s too painful to go back. “He wasn’t right for us,” we try to get ourselves to believe, but the second we see a faded picture of the past we remember the stain of his soul. He was our soul mate, for a time, and now that time has came and gone. Will we ever be able to feel that love for someone else? That deep eye contact that can last infinitely, “Can we really recreate that with someone else?”

In comes Mr.RightGuyattheWrongTime and he’s just so good to us, just so perfectly qualified for the position of boyfriend, and wants nothing more than your soul, but what good is a soul that feels split in two and are we really supposed to just jump back into passion payment plan without a commitment to self? Is life really swinging from one possible family tree to the next? With the ghost of a former lover haunting the newly bought home of a couple, it doesn’t matter how scared the connection, the two are bond to get spooked out.

So dear Mr.RightGuyattheWrongTime, I’m sorry but I must respectfully decline your offer to honor your time and protect my heart.

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