The Best Hummus In Israel

daniel adler“Ete is the best whommus in Israel,” Gal said as he lead us down the hill in Jaffa, the ancient Arab port city. We passed Ottoman architecture, with European turrets and arches scattered throughout. Down the serpentine path, and up another hill again. “There ete is!” The green awning. It was sixteen shekels ($5) for a plate of hummus and pita. Since all twelve of us ordered they gave us a bag of pitas and a cut, raw onion.

The hummus was warm, with chickpeas at the bottom, and turmeric and olive oil sprinkled over it. It was creamy and I ate the whole bowl. There was a spicy salsa verde to sprinkle over over the hummus, which Michael suggested to add with a piece of raw onion. All the onion was gone at the end of our meal. It made me cringe to think that I used to eat the processed Sabra hummus in Brooklyn and pretend that it was good.

We had to hurry back to the bus even though we wound up waiting for a quarter of an hour at the clock tower. We took a few pictures and ate some sweet Turkish cakes, which were crispy and filled with creamy cheese.  It’s a lot like summer camp being on a group tour of a country. People flirt, make out, need to be accounted for.

Today we drove to Tzvat, a very spiritual place high in the mountains. Kabbala is Jewish mysticism, my favorite. In the olden days you had to be a mature man, with a family and a stable mind in order to study it. Because when you start seriously studying how man relates to nature and the rest of the world, it’s easy to start going crazy, to lose perspective. It’s funny that in every religion this kind of mysticism exists, and that even Freud and Jung were onto the same idea, using the collective unconscious and the unconscious self as modern correlations…

Which leads me to how I’ve been thinking about different avatars of the self, the way we feel different, possible past souls in our own, which I’m defining in my novel, allowing them to interact and converse…


By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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