Israel, Religion, Travel, Web/Tech

Ish & Crew

so. there was much drama and debate among "the traveling geeks" today. we got a late start and missed our first-- and i guess most important?-- appointment and were running late the rest of the day. we had some afternoon fun planned to go see Ish's bedouin village and then hit up an israeli winery. everyone was super excited about this plan. except our hosts, who really wanted us to make up the meeting we flaked on. totally understandable from their end, they are paying for this trip and spent a great deal of time organizing it.

still, we wanted to see ish's village. the thing about driving around to office parks is they look a lot like silicon valley. and that's fascinating-- as are a good number of the companies-- but to understand israeli entrepreneurs, you need to get more than a demo of their products. you need to get the culture.

so we rebelled and went to the village.

i'm so glad we did. let me point out that i'm feeling HORRIBLE still at this point, woozy, coughing, my stomach literally feels like it's bleeding from the inside. oh, and my left hand had just started to go numb. not sure why...but i chose to ignore it.

we drive up to a concrete three (or four?) story house in a village. it's the land ish grew up on. but not the house. for the first 13 years of his life he lived in a tent, the youngest of 11 kids. his parents, sister and nephew could not have been more hospitable. they served us bedouin coffee-- which takes hours and hours to make and is a major welcoming tradition in their culture. you had to just shoot it -- and it was hot! it was billed as beduoin "tequila"-- which worried me. in my house, i'm not allowed to drink tequila because it makes me very angry. ish also said it was so strong it would keep us up for three days. i have to say-- i do still feel pretty awake hours later.

i was talking to a guy tonight who said i saw similarities in the israeli culture because it had been "americanized." but these people were definitely not americanized. they only got power four years ago. still, there were these moments of genuine motherly or fatherly love and affection that directly reminded me of my parents. this unspoken way of communicating. particularly, towards the end of the visit, when JD was interviewing Ish's dad and referenced Ish's upcoming wedding. Ish's dad did a finally!-thank-the-heavens gesture that any parent, of any faith, anywhere the world would have done. we all laughed and needed no translation.

i still don't think i'm exactly explaining why i found the whole thing so moving. so either i'll get more articulate later, or you'll just have to watch the video and see if you see it for yourself. but that's the best you are getting at 1 am when i can't stop coughing!

(btw- renee has pictures of ish' parents here and conflicts with me on some ish details! i'm sure i'm wrong. was half coherent. sorry ish!)


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sounds like you guys are having an awesome trip. Deb's a friend of mine and I've been following all of your adventures via Tweet and modern.

Tell Israel hi for me, and I'll be there soon!

It bears mentioning that in spite of not feeling well, the fabulous Sarah Lacy is a total trooper on this journey ...

The comments to this entry are closed.

"Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky" puts a well-deserved spotlight on the fascinating entrepreneurs working in some of the most overlooked places on Earth. This book reminds us that when entrepreneurial opportunity is enabled and embraced locally, the economic and social benefits have the power to transform us all.
Brilliant. Crazy. Cocky.

New Book

An unforgettable portrait of the emerging world's entrepreneurial dynamos Brilliant, Crazy, Cocky is the story about that top 1% of people who do more to change their worlds through greed and ambition than politicians, NGOs and nonprofits ever can. This new breed of self-starter is taking local turmoil and turning it into opportunities, making millions, creating thousands of jobs and changing the face of modern entrepreneurship at the same time. To tell this story, Lacy spent forty weeks traveling through Asia, South America and Africa hunting down the most impressive up-and-comers the developed world has never heard of....yet.

Excerpt »

Buy it from these sellers

Srah Lacy

Sarah Lacy is an award-winning reporter who has covered high-growth entrepreneurship for more than fifteen years. She is the founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of, the site-of-record for the startup ecosystem. She lives in San Francisco.

Learn more »


Get updates delivered directly to your inbox. Just enter your email address and click Subscribe: