Weekly Interview: QuietusLeo


I came across The Sandman via Treppenwitz. You know how it is: you read a comment on a blog and you feel you’d like to know more about the person who wrote it so you click on a link and then read a few posts on the blog and add it to your RSS feed. In addition, apart from being a fellow blogger, QuietusLeo has also a walking comrade since Treppenwitz initiated his competitions a year ago. Thanks QuietusLeo for being part of this project and for presenting yet another aspect of what it means to be a blogging Israeli.

Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

I’m an anesthesiologist. I’m married to a chemical engineer. We have 3
children – one of each kind (girl, boy and hurricane). I have a degree in philosophy which made me practically unemployable, thus leading to aliyah and serving as a tank commander in the IDF. My hobbies are: cycling, jazz, cooking and annoying my wife and children.

What is your religious background (if any)?

I grew up completely secular, grilled pork, shelled clams, imbibed oysters etc… After finishing my residency I had the time to fulfill a longtime wish to study gemarrah. That lead to wrapping tefillin and praying shacharit on the train to work. Am I religious now? I honestly don’t know. I find others’ need for labeling to be very constraining.

When and why did you decide to make aliyah?

For me, it is more accurate to say that I came home. I was born in Jerusalem. Even though I grew up was educated in the US, I never felt at home. In college, I came across a book called “Yoni’s Letters”. It was a compilation of letters that Yoni Netanyahu z”l (The PM’s older brother and a bona fide hero) wrote to his family while he was serving in the IDF. It turns out that he went to the same high school as I did and his observations on American culture were identical to mine. His patriotism and strong identification with the Jewish State galvanized my decision to come back.

Where in Israel do you live and is there a special reason you live there?

We live in Metar, a village near Be’er Sheva in the southern Hebron hills. I had studied medicine in Be’er Sheva and did my residency there. We eventually built our home here in the south. We love it here and I am more than willing to make the commute to Tel Aviv to work. IMHO we have the best climate in Israel – not too hot (we use the AC only on the hottest of hot days), not to humid, and we have the largest forest in the country at the edge of the village (Yatir Forest – 40,000 dunam (10,000 acres)).

When and why did you start blogging?

I became an instant fan of Treppenwitz’ blog at first sight. About 2 1/2 years ago I decided to try blogging mostly as a way of releasing much pent up stress that was work related.

Have you been surprised by the way your blogging activity has evolved over the years?

I’m still new at this to have expectations. What surprises me is that someone (besides my mother – Hi Mom!) actually reads it. I’m even more surprised that there are faithful readers (God bless ’em).

To what extent do you feel your blogging activity reflects on the global perception of Israel?

My post rate is very very modest so I don’t believe it has any effect whatsoever.

What are your favorite posts?

Not in any particular order:
“Not that four letter word”
“The Rabbi”
“Fact is stranger than fiction”

Last week’s interview