International Salad Day is an ancient rite that was first celebrated in 1999, when I lived in Neve Tzedek. Lin and I later developed it into a proper holiday to rival christmas. It takes place the day after the first autumnal rain falls in Jerusalem.
That was yesterday, and that rain washed out a couple of great residents of Jerusalem through the wadis and down to my place on the coast. Some of these are old friends, some new, none is a native of the city: Ora is from Nottingham, Elisabeth from Toronto, Lev is from Ljubliana. Naomi from New York, and Juanpa from Santiago de Chile. We began the festivities by playing the holiday's traditional game: "the name game", a pleasent way of humiliating oneself.
Everyone stayed over.
The morning was rainier than the one before. Religious festivals aside, there is something about the first rains of the season that stirs the profound spiritual core of an Israeli. We become all nostrils, all moistened scalp, all dialing fingers,
all chopping hands,
The festive breakfast went beyond salad (we are not that deeply observant), there was Black Forest schinken from Germany (Elisabeth gave up keeping kosher in order to try it!) coffee from "Paul's" and smoked salmon from "Rusky Delikates", my favorite Jaffoite salami and kvas emporium. The conversation went places where only rainy day conversations go. We ate enough to keep us going till November, when "International day of the Returner" (time of returning things that were borrowed and borrowing new stuff) will be celebrated in great pomp.