How Uri met Michal

BY LEAH HAKIMIAN

Hiking was his passion, and he loved the desert, but Uri Meller had second thoughts when his friend Einav pressed him to go on a hiking trip. Uri and Einav had been friends for about 11 years when she invited him to join the four-day outing. He had other considerations as a first-year medical student. Uri took his studies very seriously. But the desert beckoned. “One of the best decisions of my life was to skip class that week, ” says Uri. “That’s how I met Michal. “

Friend Einav recalls that she and Michal Alter had been close chums for years, and the two women had originally planned that hiking trip for just the two of them.

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“I suggested we also invite Uri Meller since I knew that he, too, loved to hike. We were going to be together for four days, so I had to be sure that we would all get along, And I was sure, since I loved them both. I was confident that they would love each other. But who can predict romance? “

The desert was always calling Uri – from the time he was a child and his family would take him on family trips to the Sinai Desert. Michal fell in love with the desert when she was there for her army service.

The trio spent four days hiking near Mitzpe Ramon, a small town in the Negev, overlooking the huge Ramon Crater.

“When I said goodbye to Uri at the bus station on Thursday night, ” remembers Michal, “I already felt that something good can come of the relationship. There was something unspoken in the air. “

Michal was ready to move forward the next day, but Uri needed an additional day. “I had neglected my medical studies for a week. I needed at least a day to do some catch-up. ” The two got together on Saturday and have been together ever since.

In all other relationships, Uri had felt the need to have some private space to himself outside the relationship. “With Michal, I have it all, ” he says. “In some cases, opposites attract, but in our case, we are very much alike. In fact, the only way we are different is that Michal is more organized. “

Michal, 28, adores everything about Uri, 29, everything that is, except his glasses. “But no one is perfect, ” she notes.

Uri graduated high school in Haifa, served in the Israel Defense Forces and received a B.A. from Columbia University in New York. He is currently a student at Sackler Medical School at Tel Aviv University,

Michal and Uri are very private people, who are both sensitive to the needs of others and committed to helping those around them. Though a full-time student working on her B.A. at Tel Aviv University in Far Eastern Studies, Michal finds time to volunteer at Mesila, the Aid and Information Center, which helps non-Jewish foreign workers. She already has one degree from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, and Michal has had her choice of high-tech jobs. She prefers helping people.

Dr. Leslie Kahl, an American medical school administrator, has observed that her students seem to marry other medical students from half to two-thirds of the time. Internet forums discuss at length the pros and cons of getting married during medical school. All agree that spouses must have something to do with their time. Most conclude that marriage is doable in med school. As one blogger observed: “It’s hard to be married no matter what you do. “

It’s not surprising that Uri and Michal would have their wedding festivity in the desert. Actually it was a gift from Einav – she coordinated a group effort in planning a 4-day celebration, which took place exactly one year after she introduced her two good friends. Surrounded by family and close friends, the couple exchanged vows in a candle-lit ceremony under a tent-like wedding canopy. “It was magical, ” says Michal.

Uri and Michal live in the heart of Tel Aviv and love the city’s cultural life. They are also at home in the starkness of the desert. Most of all, they are at home with each other. It is obvious that they are deliriously in love.

Uri and Michal were married on October 10, 2006. Mazal tov!

Read past installments of Leah Hakimian’s column, ‘Godsend’

How Larry met Shelley

How David met Luba

How Aaron met Cynthia

How Zali met Michal

How Hadi met Rosa

How Richard met Talia

How Yuvi met Rachel

How Shai met Liora

How Dov met Miriam

How Aaron met Jennifer

How Simon met Rhea

How Dan met Simone

How Phil met Julie

How Michael met Amy

How Zvi met Daphna

How George met Leora

How Marty met Ila

How Gary met Lindsey