The Masks Come Off

Reason to smile in Israel as Corona restrictions further loosen following successful vaccine campaign

The Masks Come Off
Michael Giladi/Flash90

A busy and important week is behind us in Israel. But as this new week begins, we got some exciting news – from today we no longer need to wear masks outdoors!

To be honest, I can’t wait to again experience what we surely used to take for granted – the ability to look one another in the face and recognize a smile or other emotional expressions. A year ago, I would have found it silly that such a small thing could make me so happy. But I can’t wait to walk around Jerusalem mask-free following our weekly editorial meeting tomorrow morning.

We were already beginning to feel the newfound freedom last week, as we were once again able to gather with family and friends, first to commemorate our fallen soldiers and then to celebrate Israel’s 73rd Independence Day. Last year, both events occurred during lockdown. The excitement notwithstanding, it was a bit of a shock to again realize how much preparation is required for these gatherings and celebrations.

From today, no more masks!
Happy birthday, Israel!

It wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth it. It was a wonderful day, but I admit that I now understand even more the significance of the Exodus of our people from Egypt, by that I mean the end of slavery, the path to freedom.

Following more than a year of isolation, we suddenly are faced again with just how busy and hectic life is in our small country. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t happy. You could see it everywhere over the extended Independence Day weekend, when Israelis packed into national parks and other nature destinations, of course with their typical barbecues.

Israelis participating in their favorite national pastime, which was particularly satisfying this year after spending last Independence Day in lockdown.

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