Two Meals, 30 Years Apart in Jerusalem

Life and Love Marked in Holy City Restaurant

Unchanging View: Decades after her honeymoon, Jane Eisner returned to this restaurant for a special dinner.
Courtesy of Touro Restaurant
Unchanging View: Decades after her honeymoon, Jane Eisner returned to this restaurant for a special dinner.

By Jane Eisner

Published July 24, 2013, issue of July 26, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

This is a story about food and marriage, and a very special place in Jerusalem. It is a story in three parts — the first two written more than three decades ago, the third written only last month.

It was April 23, 1980, precisely one month after my husband, Mark Berger, and I were married in New York — and we wanted to celebrate. We were renting a room in a cold flat on Rehov Herzog in Jerusalem, living on savings while he finished his American medical school training with a rotation at Shaare Zedek Hospital and I studied Hebrew and wrote freelance stories — our chance to live in Israel for a few months together.

This is back when dining out in Jerusalem meant overcooked schnitzel or Arab street food, but we were told of a fancy French restaurant at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, next to the famous windmill at Yemin Moshe, so we decided to splurge. Within reason. We’d forgo the wine and the extras for the pleasure of dining with an unparalleled view of the Old City and for our first opportunity as a married couple in our mid-20s to feel like proper grownups.

The view did not disappoint, but as soon as we opened the menu and saw the prices, our delusions of adulthood melted faster than ice cream in the Negev. We decided we could afford only to order an entrée each and share an appetizer.

This was also a time when the servers in Israel had all the charm of the impatient men who would throw pickles on the table at a Lower East Side deli and ignore you for the next hour.

Yayin? No, no wine.

Salat? No salad.

I swear she snickered.

And one appetizer, please. Rak echad?


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.