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Why “CHELM”???


why chelm? 

The name Chelm-on-the-Med© was chosen because in so many ways, Israeli public and private life seem modeled after Chelm – an actual Jewish town in Poland that for generations served as the butt of Yiddish folk humor.  Nobody knows when or why Chelm got tagged with the role of being ‘a paradise filled with life-embracing fools’ but reading in the Hebrew papers about the IDF draftee who was afraid of the dark, whose ultimate Jewish mother snuck into boot camp to accompany him on nighttime guard duty, slipping out undetected at dawn; the senior Israeli minister who chose to enchant the press by hypnotizing a chicken, leaving the bird on its back looking like an oversized zapped cockroach; and a court ruling on a divorce settlement requiring the divorcee to pay his former spouse one pregnant goat a year for the next 35 years – raising serious questions over ‘who got whose goat’ – I knew if there truly was a Chelm, it was here at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean – in Israel.

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