“Kollel” Meaning Included

This summer I learned the word “kollel.” In Hebrew the word rolls off the tongue–a short ‘o’ sound, and two ‘la’ sounds; light and airy. One definition of the word is collection, like a collection of scholars. It refers to stipended advanced Judaic studies where the ‘o’ is elongated like the period of time spent studying. But the kollel I learned means included, an important word to know in Israel. Most of the questions I learned to ask in restaurants involved “Haim ze kollel…” always making sure to know what was included in the deal, what was I getting from my investment. Would it be worth it? And sometimes the answer was no. And you can break your teeth and try bargaining, the true test of how Israeli you are. And maybe you’ll convince them, because you’re a beautiful girl. And maybe you won’t because you’re a silly beautiful American girl. And Israelis don’t take silly beautiful American girls seriously.

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