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RECAP: #ShahsofSunset Religious Tension Splits The Group In Israel

I am so lucky to combine blogging with my guilty pleasure of watching reality TV. I read all the comments and respond to most. Feel free to reach out to me. If you like fiction, I have two published novels: Three Days in Purgatory and A Reason to Run.

Shalom, everyone! We are back in Tel Aviv with the Shahs of Sunset. The group is waking up after their first big night on the town. Bagels and lox for everyone! The group celebrates Shabbat with Mike’s family, but first the group talks about how crazy MJ got and how they really need to help her. But it’s not her drinking that should be addressed, it’s the cat suits she wears.

Asa walks in to breakfast looking fresh after a night of no second-hand smoke and Destiney arrives in her nightgown and full makeup. Asa will be spending the day with three spiritual leaders to discuss a peaceful coexistence and will film it so her unborn child can be bored with stories of his en utero pilgrimage to Israel. You can hear the collective, Waa-waahh, with the group. Asa asks them to film random people at the market as they coexist with the locals in this nearby village because they aren’t going with her. A hungover MJ finally strolls in and doesn’t look as bad as she should. Hallelujah our prayers have been answered!



Because this group is so intellectual, Mike uses the time in the shuttle to discuss the benefits of jerking off so you don’t have to deal with women. Plus, straight men take care of their business in the shower, using the two-birds, one fist method.

They arrive at the market, Thank God, and Asa says, See ya, as she leaves to meet with the liaison and spiritual leaders. They are 1) a rabbi who specializes in meditation, 2) an Arab Catholic priest, and 3) a Muslim mystic peacemaker a.k.a. the Yoda of Palestine.

Back at the market, with cameras in hand, they Shahs stroll about looking for people to interrogate interview, but like a shiny gold watch, Reza is distracted by the cats at the garbage dump. I think he wants to adopt one instead of a real baby. After he assaults one of the cats, the rest of the group pulls him away to go to the Arab market and insult everyone by asking them, “What are you?” Imagine being asked that while at your local shopping mall. And to top it off, the person asking is also recording the entire thing. The locals are becoming suspicious. Mike is the only one picking up on the mood, or is he being paranoid? Reza is shocked to finally realize, after Mike points it out, these people aren’t fond of the Western world. The way Asa explained it, Reza thought this was town was all rainbows and unicorns.

Back with Asa, she is interviewing each of the men, because none of the spiritual advisors are women, and they all offer messages of love and hope. One guy says the whole world will one day hold hands and sing in perfect harmony. Then they break bread and Asa eats it without asking if it’s organic.

Back at the market, Mike is starting to bug out. In his mind any minute guys with guns will jump on the rooves and take them out. Most of the others in the group don’t feel threatened until a guy walks a little too close for their comfort and local men start making assault rifle noises. It’s time to start walking back to the car.

Asa arrives and is stuck in her beautiful headspace. She says all you need is love, but Reza can’t feel the love when he’s constantly looking over his shoulder. A cat runs by and it’s like some said, Squirrel. Reza eventually tunes back in and asks Asa how he’s supposed to be okay with people who want to murder him because he’s gay. She says you kill them with kindness, love and compassion. Reza cries over the fact that this town puts him in a state of rage for their hatred of him.

While waiting for Reza and Asa in the shuttle, the rest of the Shahs have a talk about racism because Mike felt uncomfortable here. Shervin calls it fear and GG calls it ignorance and tells Mike to get out of his Jewish bubble.

After MJ cleans her nasty feet, the group goes to celebrate Shabbat with Mike’s family. The dinner table looks beautiful. His family is welcoming and Mike’s Great Aunt Emi is wheeled in to join the festivities. Mike drinks from the ram’s horn called the shofar. That’s one heck of a shot. Mike is feeling very sentimental about screwing up his marriage and hopes to get a second chance someday.

Reza gives a speech to say thank you – to the Jews in the room. Reza explains how he spent the day in a part of town that made him feel icky and yucky, but now that he’s here with the beautiful Judaism, he feels warm and fuzzy. Shabbat shalom everyone! Meanwhile all of the Muslims at the table feel like crap for being left out.

The following morning, Reza goes to check on Asa who can’t drag herself out of bed because of her nausea. In the other room, Reza’s friends throw shade at him for going all Jewish on them. He’s forgetting he’s only half a Jew. In walks Reza who overhears GG calling him angry because she is now an expert on anger. Reza tells the gang he will try to make a conscientious effort not to slam Islam while in Israel – but all bets are off back home.

The group is traveling to Jerusalem and the Wailing Wall today. Mike whips out small journals as gifts so everyone can write down a wish, fold it up, and place it in the wall. MJ has a dream. Reza tells her he does too so be quiet and write it down. MJ reads her touching memoir that goes on and on and on about wanting a legacy. Damn girl, God is busy, he ain’t got time to read all that. Just say, “I wish to have a healthy baby.” Reza is crying with MJ, telling her how afraid he is for her and to get a life already. 

They arrive at the Wailing Wall. Some of the comments are, “Look how beautiful this is.” “This is insane.” “This is the holiest place on earth.” “The women’s place is on that side.” And by the way, it’s way smaller than the men’s side.

Shervin isn’t sure about wearing the yamaka. Is it only for Jewish men or all men? He’s not sure, but grabs one to be on the safe side and then drops it on the ground. Reza puts his yamaka on and walks ahead of Mike and Shervin because he’s ready to ask the universe for a gift. Will it be a car or a baby? Shervin doesn’t understand why men are standing and rocking when Muslim’s get on their hands and knees to pray. Mike is kissing the wall. He wants family, health, happiness and to find the next Mrs. Mike.

On the other side, GG is not liking how the women are secondary. She wants to break the barrier down between the two walls. Oy vey, GG, please don’t do anything stupid.

Back over on the men’s side, Reza feels connected to his grandfather. He meets a Jewish man who straps on a black box to his arm and head, says a blessing, then they play ring-around-the-rosey, Jewish style. Mazel tov!

At the end, we are told that Mike’s Great Aunt Emi Kelman passed away this year. May she rest in peace.

 

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