Tag: Mark Levy

Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Fast Train aims to remind the cities why they can’t stand each other in just 30 minutes

Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Bullet Trainc with the Daily FreierBy Mark Levy

Last Updated 1/11/2018 at 11:30 AM

Tel Aviv, HaHagana Station: With the pending (and shockingly somewhat on-time) launch of the Jerusalem to Tel Aviv High Speed Rail line, residents of each city eagerly look forward to the chance to remember all the things about the other city that suck. The Daily Freier wandered the streets of Tel Aviv gathering answers, and then reluctantly took the bus from Savidor Station to do the same in that other city 40 miles to the East that really, really knows how to party.

I don’t quite know what it is about Jerusalem, but it just turns you into a dork.” explained Yafo resident Danny S. “My cousin did Yeshiva there and he actually taught himself to speak poorly accented English. Like he now purposely adds “umms” and “uhs” to his sentences. He literally has a self-imposed speech impediment. And he’s from Miami.

Why do all the girls wear those thick black tights that look like they could stop an AK-47 round?” asked Tamar, a personal trainer from Florentin. “Are they auditioning for the next season of Fauda?

The worst is that Jerusalemites take it personally when we remind them how much their city sucks.” explained the Daily Freier’s very own Aaron Pomerantz. “Last year I somehow talked myself out of a date with a pretty dati girl when I told her that Jerusalem is lame.” [Editor’s Note: This may or may not have actually happened to a Daily Freier writer in real life.]

Not to be outdone, the Daily Freier got some very raw responses from the Jerusalem streets about what they can’t stand about Tel Aviv.

Oh great, now it will only take 30 minutes to be able to walk around an expensive humid slum that smells like dried pee.” explained a Dati Leumi woman named Batsheva or Elisheva or Justsheva. “Also, please tell me about your Start-Up.

Tel Aviv is just a giant weirdo reservation.” noted Hillel K. “It’s like they took the weirdest kid from each of my classes growing up, moved them to Tel Aviv, and let them reproduce. Oh yeah, and now they’re artists.

When the Daily Freier asked Hillel about the cool spots for Jerusalem nightlife, he thought for a moment, scratched his head, and answered. “Well, there’s Machane Yehuda on a Thursday night…. And then there’s the other side of Machane Yehuda….. Wait…..Did I mention Machane Yehuda?

According to the Israeli Ministry of Transportation, in 2019 they will open another High Speed line that will allow you to visit your friend who you thought had died but actually had just moved to Haifa in 2013.

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“Hey! Let’s write Fake News about a German guy & his Israeli husband who go on Secret Tel Aviv to get their prudish, legally blind, anti-social dog laid!”

*SPOILER ALERT: Everything in this Story is True.

SCENE: A pub somewhere in Central Tel Aviv. The Daily Freier staff are day-drinking.

Yuval Weiss, Editor:  I’m bored. Let’s make something up. Fake News. You know what would be a great story? A German dancer moves to Tel Aviv.

Mia Deych: OK, but with his Israeli husband.

Aaron Pomerantz: And he has a dog!

Mark Levy: Her name is Sissi! But she hates most other dogs!

Yekutiel Bornstein: Yeah! But Sissi really has a heart of gold! I mean, she is only angry because of her hard-luck upbringing in an American puppy mill. Also, she used to live in Austria.

Lee Saunders: But she is also legally blind. Like, she once attacked a plastic bag that she mistook for another dog.

Chava Ewa: Maybe her owner thinks that Sissi is actually trapped in the wrong body and is really a chain-smoking, whiskey drinking bar brawler. Oh yeah, and he wants to write a book about it.

Mia: But one day she meets the dog of her dreams in Florentin. His name is Haim. And he lives near Levinsky Street.

Emily Goldstein: Yes! But then her owner goes on Secret Tel Aviv to try to find the missed connection!

Yuval: Guys, let’s be serious. People don’t just log onto Secret Tel Aviv in order to arrange romantic hookups for their pets. Wait…. never mind. I guess they do. So where were we?

Aaron: So in order to make this happen, Sissi’s owner supplies the Daily Freier with Glamour Pics! Like for Tinder. Only for Dogs!

Mark: (Scribbling in a notebook) OMG. Tinder for dogs! That is an Amazing idea for a Start-Up!

(Gets up to leave.) I gotta go Beta-Test this.

Yuval: OK Good. I think we have a story. Let’s get chasers.

 

 

 

Oleh who actually converted his foreign Drivers License gives TED Talk

Daily Freier TED Talk

*Based on a true story!

By Emily Goldstein and Mark Levy

Last Updated 11/21/2017 at 2:20 PM

Namal Tel Aviv: Israel’s Olim Community turned out in their finest outfits at Tel Aviv’s upscale Namal Port for the event of the season: a TED Talk by a recent immigrant to Israel entitled “I converted my Foreign License and got a valid Israeli Drivers License”. Jeff Schwartz, an Oleh (Sorta) Hadash mesmerized the crowd with his story of personal courage and determination and the harrowing test of wills he experienced at Holon’s Misrad Rishui (Department of Motor Vehicles).

You see, back in the Old Days, Israel determined that somewhere on the Nefesh B’ Nefesh flight over here, Olim forgot the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Therefore, they needed to take a drivers test administered by bureaucrats who totally did not have a  lucrative side deal going with Israeli driving instructors. Anyhoo, thanks to the good people at Keep Olim in Israel, the law changed. And now it’s completely simple to convert your foreign drivers license to an Israeli one. HaHa! Just some “Only in Israel!” humor for you! The whole thing is still a total mess! And we love it! Because once again, this topic has rescued the Daily Freier from Writer’s Block! Here on Planet Israel, there are actually thousands of dedicated public servants in the Motor Vehicle Department. And each of them is very diligently observing to the letter of the law their own personal interpretation and philosophy as to what the rules “really” mean.

Before the speech, the Daily Freier was able to speak with Ada, the Clerk at the Motor Vehicle Department who gave Jeff his license. “We demand that you bring a valid foreign license as well as proof that you have driven for more than 5 years….. So he brought every drivers license he has ever owned from New Mexico, Florida, Oregon, and the American Military. He said he had kept them all “just in case”….. this man was a bizarre weirdo with clear hoarder tendencies….. I really respected that.

So by actually taking the bus to Holon and hanging out in the Motor Vehicle Department all day and leaving with a license… well Jeff is a bit of a folk hero now. And people want to know his secret to success.

He’s basically my role model” explained Grant, a South African Oleh as the crowds left tonight’s talk and stepped into the Tel Aviv evening. “I think he should be in some sort of  ‘Profiles in Aliyah Courage’ or something.

He’s so fearless!” explained an Olah named Melissa to the Daily Freier’s Emily Goldstein. “I really feel like I need to get to know him better.” Melissa confided as she absent-mindedly twirled her hair.

Due to the overwhelming success of his speeches, Jeff has several more TED Talks planned this winter, to include:

1) “I bought fruit in the Shuk without getting screwed on the prices”
2) “I have more than 2 Israeli friends”
3) “HOT cable returned my phone call”
4) “The cab drivers at Savidor Station don’t think I’m a freier”

Dystopian Novel depicts a nightmare future Israel run by Anglo Olim

Dystopia Anglo OlimBy Mark Levy

Last Updated 11/12/2017 at 6:20 PM

Ra’anananadingdong: Israelis were frightened to their very core this week with the release of a chilling dystopian novel depicting life in a future Israel that is run by Anglo Olim. The novel, entitled “Lo Hevanti” (second choice: “Avshar Mayim?“), tells the story of an Israel in the year 2021 that is completely run by recent immigrants from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. The story takes place two years after all the other Israelis got so tired of listening to Anglos tell them how much better we would run things if we were in charge…..that they all just threw up their hands and told us to have at it. And the whole balagan turns into “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. Except with better lunch options. Anyhoo, the Daily Freier sat in on a Literary Salon in Neve Tzedek as they reviewed “Lo Hevanti” and discussed how scared they were after reading it.

The Salon’s hostess started off the conversation. “So the Anglos rule that any argument on Secret Tel Aviv that lasts longer than 10 threads must then go to the Knesset for resolution…… and then the Knesset passes a law outlawing anyone from buying or selling dogs…..it just seemed so….so…. real.  Also, when they got Nefesh B’ Nefesh to amend the Basic Law so it now said that ‘Everything must be convenient.’….I couldn’t sleep that night.”

Local artist Tzvi then interjected with his scariest moment in the book. “When the entire economy breaks down after Lone Soldiers start going door to door asking for free shit to furnish their apartments….. I actually stopped answering my door for 3 days.

“I really liked ‘Dudi’, the Sabra hero of the book.” explained Ido. “Like when he hacks into “Keep Olim in Israel”…… in order to try to keep Olim from staying in Israel.

Finally, Florentin poet Meirav spoke up. “Hey! No spoilers! I’ve only read up to the point where the Prime Minister orders MK Tuttle-Singer to stop blogging while a motion is up for debate on the Knesset Floor.”

 

 

Just for Aliyah Day, I drive you to airport even though my taxi meter is broken

The Daily Freier celebrates Aliyah Day(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Mark Levy

Last Updated 10/25/2017 at 2:30 PM

Tel Aviv, Kikar Rabin: Hello! You speak English! Where do you want to go? The airport? No problem. No problem.

What? You want me to drop you off at the train station and go to Ben Gurion by train? No. No. Very bad, the trains today. Very bad. I take you all the way to Ben Gurion. No problem.

So where you from? Los Angeles? My sister lives in Miami. Next time I visit her, I want to see Los Angeles, Yellowstone, and the Alamo. Rent a car. How far from Miami? Six hours?

Oh yes! Happy Aliyah Day! So why did you move here, you Big Shmuck? HaHa! Just kidding! Not Really! Anyway, Happy Aliyah Day! Olim are so special for me! You are Zionism, you know what I mean? That is why I keep working today even though it’s my day off. Also, even though my taxi meter is broken. Just for you, my friend. How much for the ride? Ehhhh…. You tell  me what you think a fair price is. You said 150 Shekels? I think 200 Shekels is more fair.

Happy Aliyah Day!

‘Why has G-d forsaken us?’ Israelis calm after Target’s mass order cancellation

‘Why has G-d forsaken Us?’ Israelis react to Target’s mass order cancellationBy Chava Ewa and Mark Levy

Last Updated 9/4/2017 at 3:30 PM

Beit Shemesh: Target just cancelled all of its orders to Israel, and Israelis, especially the ultra-resilient Anglo Olim Community, are collectively LOSING. THEIR. MINDS. According to those Anglo Olim “In the Know”, the cancellation of 20,000 Target orders is an event sufficiently catastrophic to legitimately be described as a Nakba.

We are weeping, we are praying, we are fasting. Surely this is a sign from HaShem to repent.” lamented Rabbi Shlomo K. of Efrat. “It’s like Tisha b’Av, only here and now. Hashem gave us something amazing and miraculous and suddenly he took it away.  And it’s no coincidence that this catastrophe happened right before the High Holidays …. it’s a sign!

So to the best of our knowledge, here is what happened:

  • An affiliate of Target offered free shipping to Israel.
  • Apparently, they have never shipped anything to Israel.
  • Within 15 minutes, every Israeli had told every other Israeli about the great deal.
  • In order not to mess this up for everyone, Israelis prudently placed small ord…. JUST KIDDING! They went nuts and tried to ship swingsets! Also plastic sheds!
  • Israeli Customs saw this as an opportunity to levy new taxes, including a “Snack Tax” (really!).
  • Target, no doubt feeling a lot like someone who just got talked into buying Dead Sea products at the mall, pulled the plug on the whole thing.
  • The Jews went insane on social media.
  • The full force of 20,000 Jews complaining crashed the server used by the Facebook Page ‘Living Financially Smarter in Israel’.

Despite the majesty and wonder of Startup Nation,  Israelis do not yet enjoy access to the plethora of consumer goods which Target offers. “Whenever my mom comes to visit, I ask her to bring me just a few small things …. you know, like 8 boxes of pumpkin spice k-cups, a new car seat, and 3 kilos of Lawry’s seasoned salt.” explained Rivky B., a resident of Beit Shemesh. “But when my Facebook friends started posting about this free shipping offer, I thought it was a miracle …. surely Moshiach was coming …. or something!”

Rivky’s Israeli-born neighbor Aviva was sympathetic but not surprised. “They really should have been more suspicious, that offer sounded too good to be true.” she said. “But these Anglo Olim, they’ll believe anything. We have a word for that in our language… I don’t know if you’ve heard it, but it rhymes with ‘Tire’. You know, that would be a great name for an online newspaper.

Tel Aviv Startup designs Bike that’s too shitty to steal

Tel Aviv Startup designs Bike that's too shitty to steal Daily FreierBy Aaron Pomerantz

Last Updated 8/26/2017 at 6:10 PM

Tel Aviv, Ibn Gavriol: Startup Nation does it again! A new company has done the impossible: designing, testing, and marketing a bicycle designed especially for the Tel Aviv market. Specifically, they built a bike that’s “too shitty to steal”.  You see, here in Tel Aviv you can keep your bike outside for as long as 20 minutes and still have a good chance of seeing it again when you come back.  Not surprisingly, the new bike, named the Bal-a-Gan, is flying off the shelves.  The Daily Freier stopped by to talk to the development team and some of their happy customers to find out more about the buzz.

When we arrived, none other than the Daily Freier’s very own Mark Levy greeted us. “This is my seventh start-up so far in Israel, so I’m kind of hoping this one works out. But some of my previous start-ups really paved the way for the Bal-a-Gan, especially the App that allowed you to plan the time and location when your bike gets stolen. Mark then went on to explain the unique marketing factors that made the Bal-a-Gan possible. “I guess the biggest factor that created a niche for us is that the police seem to devote just as much resources to combating bike theft as they do for investigating the Binary Options Industry. So we really lucked out.

The Daily Freier then had the chance to speak to a new owner of a Bal-a-Gan. “OMG this bike SUCKS! This is just the best!” exclaimed happy owner Sarah D. Confident that she now owned a bike too crappy to steal, Sarah rode it to the Central Bus Station, left it unattended, and went inside. A man quickly approached the bicycle with bolt cutters, looked at it for a moment, and turned away.”This bike is an insult to my craft.” he noted disgustedly. Then he went back and removed the seat “just on principle.”