Ruth Bondy is in the category of feature writer-humor columnist turned light book author. This is an appealing profile of her fellow Israelis, lovingly drawn but no larger than life. Bondy tries to capture the mood of the moment in the quirks and quiddities of everyday existence; topics range from the anticipated (food, fashions, morals) to the outre (strikes, espionage, murder). The myth of Israel the Egalitarian is gently debunked in lighthearted looks at the immigrant pecking order, Arabs non grata, the institution of protectziya or ""pull."" the growing generation gap, and the retreat from pioneer day equality of the sexes. The latent theme of the struggle for survival tends to undercut the levity; a certain poignancy is inevitable even when the subject is the fall and rise of Yiddish or the future of gefilte fish. Bondy does not avoid the sobering topics -- anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, the remembrance of the six million war dead, feelings toward Germany, the impact of the Six Day War and an adverse world press -- but she tries to assimilate them as daily facts of life which must take their place along with ""crowding into buses, seeking extra income, battling red tape, loafing in the sun, and yelling at the children.