– It is a Belgian city. I have already mentioned how much I like Belgium. As the second largest Belgian city, Antwerp obviously has all the features I enjoy there.
– It has the largest Jewish community in Belgium.
– Walking through the Jewish area of the city feels a little like being thrown back into the sheitls of 20th century Europe.
– People speak Yiddish there in the streets, in the shops; even Indian diamond brokers speak it.
– There are dozens of Jewish stores, big and small. For someone like me for whom buying kosher products is a bit of a hurddle race, walking into those stores felt like being a child in a gift shop.
– The young butcher who served me was friendly and smiling and made me feel like an old customer.
– The linguist in me loves to hear people switch from one language to another. It is not unusual to hear people use three or four different languages in one store.
– We bought a new Chanukiah for the next holiday.
– We have some friends there so it is very nice to get some insiders’ insights into this place (its history, habits, food, …)
– I learned a lot more about Chasidism and feel far less judgemental about it.