Religious Jews have a custom of washing hands with a two-handled cup on certain occasions: on waking in the morning, before meals featuring bread, after using the bathroom, etc. Although I've lapsed since those days, I was for a few years a practicing Orthodox Jew, and I've never really been able to shake the hold of traditional observance. It had been years since I'd washed with a washing cup, and I found myself missing the experience. So I decided this was the time to buy a wash cup; after all, I was in Israel.
I was in Israel, but I was in Tel Aviv.
From my diary:
November 7, 2011I searched high and low in the touristy part of Tel Aviv, but I never did find those elusive wash cups. Two days later, though, I took the bus to Jerusalem. And the minute I got off at the Jerusalem bus station, what did I find?
16:58 (06:58 Pacific). More knick-knacks and goodies: a bottle opener (almost as elusive as the power converter, but they had it at the hardware store) and a set of silverware (also from the hardware store). From the stationery store I got a calendar and a notebook, and some maps.
Try to find a friggin' wash cup, though, and you're out of luck. They don't have religious products stores here. They do have Judaica stores, and you could probably find a fancy, gold-and-jewel-encrusted wash cup fit for King Solomon XIV, but not an ordinary one that normal people would actually use. Because, of course, normal people here don't use wash cups!