Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Waaay back: Pre-Pesach

So, Pesach. The break is a month long, and Hepzi and I spent the first 2 weeks in Amsterdam and Poland. No, we didn't do anything wild and crazy in Amsterdam, we saw Anne Frank's house and the Spanish-Portegese shul, toured for a bit in the countryside and had a relaxing shabbos. We went to a museum Sunday morning and took this tiny Italian plane for the short hop over the the boot-shaped country. That's still how I identify it on a map, by the way. Italy is a bit more complicated, so to sum up it was basically a whirlwind of museums, shuls, and finding food to eat. We were in Rome until Wednesday afternoon, Florence until Sunday morning and Venice until Tuesday afternoon, when we hopped a long train back to Rome for our flight early Wednesday morning. We were at the airline booth before the security, and the people wouldn't check us in until security had played 20 questions. ("Haim at m'daberet Anglit?" "Huh? I mean, kein, ktzat." Then they give you fishy looks) We actually met Chava on her connection in Rome, and took the sheirut back to school together.
So, that left me a few days to prep for Pesach. No big deal, right. Oh, I wish. First, I checked my e-mail, casually seeing what I missed, only to find that I needed to choose college classes for next year, and I needed to send my choices by 9 am Eastern to my college. Needless to say, I flipped. I was up until 3 in the morning, on my phone with a Dina M. (she's at Queens now) going over teachers and classes and time slots and I finally sent it in. (For the curious, my classes are all in place and my scheduale is nuts)
Then I found out, that due to construction, the washing machines were not working as promised. Now, that washing machines had been out of comission since a day before break, so I had 3 weeks worth of laundry to do, and not enough clothes to cover me for all of Pesach. So I got a little panicked and ended up calling Aviva G., a friend of mom's in Katamon for the year, and she let me use her washer and dryer, and she totally saved me, as I had no clue how to wash all of that in a bathtub.
After all of this, Shoshi and I checked out plans for the first days (in Efrat) and planned that we needed to buy 4 bottles of wine and a few afternoon snacks on Friday before catching the 167. We bumped into some people we know on Ben Yehuday (who doesn't) before catching the bus and being unable to find the entrance to the Ohr Torah Stone guest house in Efrat. We had the building, we just took ages to find the door. Then we prepped for Shabbos and ran off to shul to bring in shabbos. Next time: Pesach!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

In As Few Words As Possible

I went to Poland for a week. It was a highly meaningful experience, and I would highly recommend going with someone who appreciates the vibrant Jewish life that existed in Poland pre-war and not only the horrors and the death. (Yes, this does deserve more attention)
I went to Ir David when I came back, followed by a school shabbaton at Shadmot M'Cholah (spelling probably wrong) Then it was the WEEK OF PURIM. Dress like your Ram day, Rep your 'hood day, and finally the big HARRY POTTER DAY PURIM EXTRAVAGANZA!! We had a Triwizard Tournament between the Rammim and then the winner (Rav Sch - my old Ram) defeated Voldemort (Rav Br. who was also the leader of our Poland trip and the token Israeli who can barely speak English in our administration. It is also worth noting that he knows next to nothing about Harry Potter and was mystefied by most of the event) For Purim I stayed in the dorm, as it is halachically problematic to sleep in Yerushalayim Thrusday night and anywhere else Friday night on Purim Mshulash. It was quiet, I ate dinner at Aviva G.'s and lunch with my Eim and Av Bayit, whom I don't know so well, so it was nice to talk to them.
Another week of school, then shabbos in Katamon/San Seemon for a Bkiut Gemarah shabbaton. An excellent time, despite getting mildly lost from Katamon to Rav Wr.'s house.
Now I am planning my trip for the first two weeks of Pesach break. For those of you not in the know, I am going to Amsterdam for a few days, then Italy for ten days, and youth hostels are NOT as cheap as I'd like them to be. I have mastered the art of finding decent-seeming (I haven't exactly had the opportunity to check them out) places under $50 a night, but it gets tricky when you aim for under $40 a night, especially when you REFUSE to sleep in a coed dorm, but we found a few option. I'll try to keep you posted, in more detail, later.
It's nearly 2:10 and I'm heading to bed. Hopefully my e-mail to Chabad about eating on there on shabbos in Florence got to the right place.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Susiyah. Shabbos and such.

So, the school offers us optional shabbatons to interesting and exciting locales, like random kibbutzim, and I always sign up. It's nice to see sides of Israel I'd never see on my own. (On my own I've manged to see lots of Beit Shemesh. And Efrat, once.)
So, this time it was Susiyah, this random yishuv south of Hevron and Yattah. There was a town there, an old Jewish one, built around 400 years after the destruction of the second temple, and it grew to prosperity in Talmudic times before becoming suddenly abandoned for unknown reasons. There are archaeological excavations still going on there. The yishuv is right over the next hill, and they share the name.
So we got on the bus around 10:30 in the morning, and we stopped at the old site first and got a brief tour. It was really cool, different biblical and talmudic references existed for these people. There were holes for mezuzot in the walls, and a burial cave that was something referenced in a story in the gemarah (all of this was so cool).
The shul is one of the most amazing finds. The archaeologists originally thought it was a church (before they figured out it was a Jewish town, clearly) but then they found it was facing Yerushalyim and when they got to the floor they found mosaics of menorahs and the beit hamikdash and other clear Jewish symbols. It's pretty big and the shul in the yishuv is modeled directly after it. (A little frustrating, as the original didn't have a women's section, so the women's section just got added to the back, and it's was a tight squeeze when we were added to the local population in shul)
Then we went to the oil press, which was really cool, and we talked about how the oil that was used for the menorah in the Beit Hamikdash was made for a bit. Then we haded back to the bus for a 2-minute ride back to the yishuv proper. Then we set up in our rooms (I was with Miriam, Shoshi L., Michal and Eliana L. Awesome room. We stayed up far too late talking) and prepped for shabbos. We stayed in a visitors center. I don't know what the proper name is, but every smaller community seems to have one. It's youth hostel-like, with rooms packed with beds and a yard and a communal dining hall.
The shul was lovely, even if it was squishy. The community is very idealistic and has been slowly building up the shul as funds come in. We all had dinner together, and there was a talk afterwards about Susiyah and what makes the community so great. (Michal decided that if she ever makes aliyah, she'd like to move there.) Rav Br. and Rav Finkl. both came with their families, which was really nice.
Shabbos day was laid back. There was some optional stuff in the afternoon, but I just napped after lunch (along with Michal. The rest of the room trickled in over time.) I should mention that this weekend was cold cold cold. And I love the winter, but the heat in the room (which was on 30 degrees celcius) didn't seem to have any effect, and we all huddled under multiple blankets. Before Shabbos our madrichah came into the room to turn down the heat because she thought 30 degrees would be uncomfortably hot for us and we chased her out, yelling.
After shabbos we caught the bus back, and Michal and I went out to meet up with Avishai and Nate at Emek R'faim. (It's actually a long story, which I'll try to sum up. A few weeks ago Avishai called me Saturday night and invited me to see Juno, which had just started playing at a little independent theater in Yerushalyim. I invited Michal, and Michal and I went to Emek R'faim to hang out before the movie. Then we found out that the theater was sold out. So Avishai came to meet us and we were walking up and down, talking to each other and trying to keep warm, when we bumped into Nate. We were having a fun time hanging out and freezing the tips of our ears off, and we decided to try and go see Juno another week, all four of us. Then shabbos started getting later and our schedules are hard to coordinate, so we elected to go out to dinner instead.) We went to Tal Bagels, my first time, and just stayed there until Nate and Avishai HAD to rush to the Central Bus Station to catch the last busses home, and Michal and I headed back, exhausted, but plenty before curfew.
So in one weekend I managed to have a great shabbos and socialize. And make it to shiur the next morning on time! (I really miss Sundays sometimes...)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm Way Behind: Football

So, football. American football, specifically, as the British girls will remind you on occassion. I can't say I ever really understood the sport. My description was always, "a bunch of guys line up in lines, run around jumping on each other, and then line up somewhere else. Sometimes a bone breaks." But I love love love football movies. Remember the Titans, Varsity Blues, Rudy...you get the picture. I just never really understood the whole scoring system, which was frustrating, because there's no reason (as far as my basketball/hockey oriented mind could comprehend) that you should be able to get 7 points at once.

Well, anyway, the superbowl was coming up, and one of my really good friends, (and gemrah chevrutah,) Abby, really wanted to watch it. As well as some other people, such as most of the girls I went to HS with, and some die-hard fans. So after chatting with Tova, the school agreed to set up a screen for us in Yefe Noff (the common room) hooked up to the game in America. And the school would supply us with tradition fuel in the form of deli sandwiches, soda and chips. They'd even have class start a half-hour late, but we all had to show up. Note that the game starts at 1 in the morning in Israel. Predicted to end around 4:30, I think. And Abby promised to explain what was going on so I wouldn't be confused. Also, Rav Sh. (my old ram) was a big Giants fan, making the whole thing that much more exciting.

I texted Avishai over at Gush, to find out if he was having anything, because it was fairly well-konwn that boys were keeping up with American sports despite the distances and crazy hours.

His response: "Nope we get a bunch of shiurim about hos a ben torah doesnt watch the super bowl in yeshiva. R u watching it?" I thought this was hysterical and texted back "Yeah. We're having a party tonight complete with deli and soda. We might get a half-time shiur if any teacher is willing to stay up. And we're a bunch of girls!" Apparently he showed this to a bunch of people in Gush that night.

(About the half-time shiur. The school asked R. Sh. to give it because they knew he'd be un, but he declined, becuase he said he'd be to wrapped up in the game emotionally. S.T. (my halacha teacher) gave a short speech in which she defended sports in general, but expressed her general dissaproval of the school hosting a superbowl party. She was thinking about giving a half-time shiur, but didn't in the end, which was probably a good idea, as she has a crazy enough scheduale as it is. I ended up checking my e-mail during half-time, because there was no one in the computer room)

I took a nap after night seder, and then popped up, ready to go at 1. We had a whole group of girls ready to party, and except for some speaker problems (the sem. didn't have any, we had to provide our own, and no one could find any that fit the outlet. It was crazy for a while) it was great! We were mostly Giants fans, with very few exceptions. I was a Giants fan mostly due to my 8th grade teacher, who was such a big Giants fan the we used to check the scores before class every day to find out what mood he was in.

(Just for fun: When the players came out, everyone cheered for their respective teams. When Tom Brady came out, everyone shrieked. The Massachusets girls especially. It was hysterical.)

Abby explained the basic rules at the begining of the game, and I finaly started getting what was going on! It was great. She expalined finer points of the game as we kept going, whenever I was confused. It should be noted that both of us were frustrated at the constant fumbling and dropping of the football. Over and over. Abby pointed out that if she were payed that much to baically run and catch a ball, she'd be working much harder on catching occasionally.

Anyway, the add were lots of fun too, and there was an Iron Man movie add at one point, and I was easily the most thrilled girl in the room, and had no one to sympathize with me. So I texted Nate, who was at a different Yeshiva then Avishai, so I figured they might have a showing. He might be up and watching it on the net regardless. We ended up texting the rest of the game. Note that all my transcriptions are exact, so there are many grammatical mistakes to be had by all in our rush.

Me: Did you see the iron man add?

Nate: No when was it

Me: Earlier in the game

Nate: We haven't seen any real commercials here

Nate: How was it

Me: Awesome. How are you not seeing any commercials?

Nate: I think we have an israeli feed of the game and you have the regular one. How many people are up watching the game

Me: We have 19ish. We had more before half-time. How many do you have?

Nate: Around twenty awake another ten sleeping. Never thought we would have less people watching than at a seminary

Me: Ha! Girls rule! We started with a bunch of *my HS* girls, but I think it's just me and Louisa now.

Nate: That's not surprising. anyone else there I know

Me: I don't think so. Michal went to bed way at the begining. I just cheered for the wrong team. Man, I'm tired.

Nate: Wait! you're rooting for the giants right

Me: Uh, duh. One of my roommates is rooting for the patriots, thought.


(the Giants made some amazing move. I think that was when they blocked the Patriots...This was at 4:50:51 my time)


Me: Hey look. Someone caught something!

Nate: That was descriptive

(there was another great Giants play)

Me: YAY! Before I was just talking about how nice it was that the giants didn't fumbled again.

Nate: I'm so jealous my bro and dad are their right now

Me: I'm loving my party. :D Sleep isn't necessary.

Nate: Amen. I already told god if the giants win i'm learning the rest of the night

Me: We're down to 13 girls now. A bunch went up after the giants got ahead

Me: Never mind. A bunch just came back.

Nate: A bunch here woke up so its still even

(Patriots made some amazing move. Around 4:31:42 my time)

Me: Ah! Stop them! Are you guys watching in hebrew or english?

Nate: English this is awful

Me: Two girls keep clapping. Everyone else is moaning and nervous

Nate: Same situation here i'm going nuts.

(another good patriots move)

Me: NO!

(silence on both ends. Giants did some good stuff, we were all on the edge of our seats. The Giants pull ahead.)

Me: Now just let them hold for 35 seconds.

(and the game ends!! I'd live everyone to note that the last second was hysterical. Everyone was partying and dumping water on coaches and whatnot, and the refferees ushered them back on the field to play the last second on the clock)

Me: wooo!

Nate: yes yes yes

After the game everyone basicall headed to bed. Abby and I cleaned up a bit, gave some extra food to the night-guard, who probably thought we were insane. We were all in pajamas, by the way, with skirts thrown over. I was wearing my robe and slippers too. Then Abby and I figured it'd be great to text Rav Sh. (how often can you text a teacher at 5:13:52 and know that they'll be up?) So I sent: "Mazal tov! - Chana and Abby" and he replied a few minutes later with a "thank you".

Whether you think our seminary should have hosted this or not (and it should be noted that most yeshivas hosted something, while few seminarys did) it was fun, and I I did make it on time to class the next day, on my scant hours of sleep.

Friday, January 11, 2008

So, the President came to town...

I don't know how much this was talked about in the States, but President Bush has been here in Yerushalayim since...Tuesday? Possibly Wednesday, I'm clearly not exactly hooked into the local news. But everywhere he goes, EVERYTHING shuts down. He staying (just him and his posse) at the King David hotel, and apparently everyone who lives around there was basically advised to not leave their houses while he was here. He went to visit Beit Lechem and the Gush area and they cloesd down the highways into Gush Etzion (which is hysterical, as more then half the teachers couldn't get back home for a good chunk of time)

Anyway, Eliana and I just thought this was the absolute coolest thing ever. One of the visiting alums had been out in Yerushalyim, just walking, and some guy (unclear if he was from America or Israel) wouldn't let her cross the street for a few minutes and she watched while the Presidential motorcade went by. Cool, right?

So Eliana and I decided (well, more Eliana decided and convinced me) that we should go wander around the city in hopes this would happen to us and we could wave and squeal like girls. So we hopped the bus, got off at a random stop and started walking. (at 10:30 Thursday night, by the way) Just to clarify how vague our plan was, we had NO IDEA where the Kind David hotel was, never mind how to get there from our random stop. But we saw evidence that the President had passed by from all of those crowd-control barriers set up and lots of those "Police barrier: Do not pass" streamer-things wrapped around them (except they were in Hebrew, so I couldn't really understand them.) And we passed a hotel where a lot of press were staying (identifiable from those little press tag things aroung their necks) and we passed a sign saying "Bring Pollard Home."

We took lots of pictures, but my camera cannot take good pictures in the dark, so a lot of mine are blurry. We ended up on Ben Yehudah (not deliberatly, we just walked straight.) and bought hot chocolate before running to catch the bus back. We were sure we were going to be past curfew, (which we were 12:48 when curfew's at 12:30) but when we got on the bus, our madricha got on with us! So we chatted with her for a bit, and she didn't seem so bothered when we got back late. We all signed in, so the school may comment to us about it, they might not. It's not the worse thing you could do, and Eliana and I have stellar records to boot.

This week is Shabbos Rammim, so I have to go the makolet and grab cookies or something for a gift before the bus leaves from school at 2. I'm mostly packed, and I'm psyched for next week!! (Mom and Zvi are coming to visit! Wooohooo!)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

To celebrate the fact that I woke up early enough to get a computer...

So, Firday morning. Here's a typical Friday for you. I woke up decently early (because I'd gone to sleep so early the night before) and I went to teh computer room for my crazy long post. Then I walked around to see who wasn't busy (in sem. I wasn't reallly in the mood to dig up people from other programs.) Abby wasn't busy, so we decided to head to Ben Yehudah together, maybe visit Rachel K. (she'd the one who got married.)
Abby wanted to get a hair cut, and there's a haircutting school right off of Ben Yehudah that does cuts for 35 nis, so we both went for it. My stylist-in-training spoke no English, and I don't knwo any words that involve cutting harir, so we had an intersting time of it. But my hair's even now, which is nice. And angled well.
Then we met up with one of Abby's friends from high school, a guy by the name of Yotz who had made Aliyah by himself and was fresh out of his army service. We calledc Rachel to come meet us, and then headed to Holy Bagel (great, American-style bagel place) and ate while we walked back to the bus stop, because we had to get back early for Abby to do toranut before Shabbos started. We met Michal, Miriam, and Shoshi L. at the bus stips, and chatted with them the whole way back.
Shabbos was nice, low-stress because we were in school I went to bed early. I was the only one who stayed in from my suite, so no annoying lights were on that I hadn't left on. I did toranut fro lunch, and went to Mrs. J's husband's shiur on aggadah. Apparently he's writing a book about it, which is kinda cool.
Post-Shabbos Eliana and I went to see The Golden Compass movie. It's good, but the book is MUCH better. We got back, and I got into bed before midnight (pretty good!).
Second semester starts today,a nd the French program that's been here for two months is finally leaving. I suppose I shouldn't really compoain, because I had very little to do wtih them, but they did hog the computers, and I caught two smoking out by the laundry room once. They're going to have a great time when they get back home with France's new anti-smoking laws.
Next Shabbos is shabbos rammim, which is going to be wierd, as I just switched Gemrah classes, so I'm going to Rav Br.'s house. I think he lives in Alon Shvut, but I'm not sure...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Three Day Tiyul. This is what Rav B. considers a break.

So, first semester is over. On Monday we all had to choose our classes for second semester. Most options were exactly the same, but they wanted us to re-register for everything. I just signed up for the same classes all over again. I might try out another Halachah class, just to see, but I'm pretty happy with mine, despite the fact that it's huge.
Now, Tuesday was our the first day of our between-semester break. Three days in Eilat. So Tuesday morning we had to be on a bus heading out of Yerushalyim by 4, so that we would make it to Eilat in time for our first hike. Have you ever had to wake up at 3:30 in the morning, knowing that for the next few hours you'd be cramped in an uncomfortable bus trying not to fall asleep on someone else's shoulder? Yeah. Plus, one of the buses got involved in an accident, so we were delayed a bit. Eventually we were on our way, and I spent the whole ride failing miserably to fall asleep. At least I'd got to bed early the night before. A lot of girls pulled all-nighters, and were painfully exhausted the whole day.
Anyway, we pull into a stop to eat breakfast and make lunch. Then we divided into two groups - The hard hike, and the medium hike. Easy hike was for Darkaynu (a program in our seminary for girls with mental issues) and only one of our girls was going on it, because she wasn't feeling so well. I was on the medium hike, which was a good thing.
The hike started with an uphill climb for some random peak. I can't remember the name of the hike, but we started at Givat Yocheved, and just went up. That part was not so fun, I was basically hauling myself up this ridiculous mountainside. We took a break at the top and chatted a bit with our tour guide. Apparently colleges in Israel were still on strike, so she was giving tours to kill time, and she'd already had experience from her Sheirut L'umi years. Then we started on the "down" part of the hike. I put that in quotes because the Israeli perception of down and my perception of down are very, very different. Sure, over the course of the next five hours or so, we were heading mostly down, there was still plenty of up to go with it. Lots of up. I spent a good bit of that hike (especially in the begining) slogging with our shomer (guard) named Ron, who had a handgun instead of a rifle, like most shomrim on hikes. He has to stay with the last person, or behind them, at all times. Mrs. Nomi B. (one of the teachers) or Debbie (a madricha) hung out with me a lot too.
I took a bunch of random pictures of the view, which is amazing. I walked with Shoshana L. and Shoshi and Debbie for a bit near the end. They were naming two random actors and trying to get them connected with the least degrees of separation. I'm terrible at these games, but it was near the end of the hike, we were walking on (mostly) flat ground, and the bus was just over the next ridge, so I hung around. Also, I got the Johnny Depp connected to Russel Crowe (Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean with Orlando Bloom who was in Lord of the Rings with Billy Boyd who was in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World with Russel Crowe. Sorry about the blatant victory dancing on the Internet, but I don't memorize enough actors names to generally get any of these, and this is my personal diary, despite being available for your reading pleasure, whoever you are)
By the end of the hike, though, I was staggering a bit because I had pulled a muscle in my upper thigh joint and it was hurting. I used the elevator for the rest of the night, to dinner in the hotel (which was really good) and then to the Shiurim (I went to Rav Sh.'s. It ended early, which was nice.) and then I stretched before I fell asleep.
The next morning, it was KILLING me. I woke up early with the group (before sunrise again! Yay!) and headed out with them to eat breakfast and make lunch before I made an official decision about which hike I was doing. Shoshi L. came with us, as she was considering the medium hike. I staggered around for a bit (I'm exaggerating a little, but it did hurt to climb steps) and then decided to go on the Darkaynu hike with Shoshi L. and Michal (Shoshi was still feeling so-so. Michal just hates hiking). We took the bus back to the hotel with Rav Sh. who wasn't feeling up to the hard hike, despite the fact that it was killing him that he couldn't do it, and we jumped onto the Darkaynu bus while he went inside to rest.
Darkaynu was a lot of fun. We took a tour of a kibbutz that make Shoko (come to Israel and drink shoko. It's great) and we took lots of pictures of cows and fields. It's actually amazing what they've managed to accomplish in terms of agriculture considering that it's the middle of the desert. Then we went on a hike at Timna park. It used to be (was way back, many centuries ago...) a copper mine, mined by Egyptians quite far from home. There was an information movie, and then we went on a short hike. I could've done it in maybe 45 minutes if I dawdled and took pictures. I think it took us 2 hours. There was one part where you climbed through an old mining shaft. You could see the copper in the walls, easily. (Identifiable by it's signature green look, a la the Statue of Liberty. Oxidation and all that.) Then we made little bottle of sand with all natural colors. I might send it home with mom so I won't lose it.
That night there were more shiurim. (I went to Rav. Br.'s) and then there was an optional kumzitz. I went to my room to hang out instead. (Note: My room consisted of me, Daniela, Shoshi L. and Michal. It was great. Except that there were no towels. Not kidding. We get there the first night, and we all had towels for the beach, except Shoshi, so we called down the front desk. They said, "Towels don't come with the package" and hung up. We were stunned. It became a running joke, in fact. "Look, there's hooks for the towels! Look, there's a ring for a towel!" Hotel Adi, no towels for you!)
Shoshi and Michal went to the kumzitz, and Abby came to visit, so we tried to watch TV. Now, there was nothing good on. There were a few Arabic channels (Eilat is RIGHT NEXT TO the Jordanian border. Every time we did anything someone would point at the distant mountains and inform us that that was Jordan. On the kibbutz with Darkaynu we passed within 40 feet of the fence that marks the border. There's two flags waving over the gate. Israeli and Jordanian) and CNN international, and some random Israeli channels. We ended up watching The Shooter with Hebrew subtitles. I have no idea who wasted their time subtitling that thing, because the movie is terrible. We spend more time laughing at it then anything else. After that we all headed to bed.
There was an optional hike a 4 in the morning or so on Thursday. I woke up for it (Shoshi's alarm went off, she was going) but I couldn't even manage to open my eyes, never mind getting out of bed. I ended up getting later and packing before breakfast, which was very good. Then I made lunch and went back to my room, finished packing and headed down to the bus with Shoshi. We were heading for a private beach for our last day.
The beach was great. It was a little cold out (very windy) but the sun was bright. I applied sunscreen at least three times in our four-hour beach time. I was one of the few to go swimming, and once you got used to the water it was wonderful. It was a sandy beach and there was kayaking and banana boating (for the those of you who don't know, banana boats a big blow up banana-shaped things that get pulled along after a motorboat.) I went banana boating with Abby, Debbie, and Miriam and we asked him to go fast enough to tip us over, which he did. We all had to wear life jackets anyway, and we had a blast, even though we had the hardest time getting back on that thing for the ride back.
We all changed into normal clothing for our bus ride, so I stopped swimming about half an hour before we left so I'd be dry in time. I got the window seat for the ride back and ended up sleeping on and off. I had to wait a bit for dinner, because I was still fleishig, but I ate quickly,
took a shower and went straight to before 9. This is our "refreshing, relaxing" break between semesters, so we can feel all fresh and ready for classes on Sunday!
I'm staying in this shabbos, because I figured I'd be just too exhausted to deal with the whole shabbos deal, and I'm happy I did because I'm NOT in the mood to pack again. Next week is Shabbos Rammim, and then Mom and Zvi are coming, so I don't have to deal with shabbos for a while, which will be a nice change from my Tuesday afternoon panic sessions.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Yeah, I havent' updated in a while. Perhaps I'll fill in the time later...

So, I went to Ma'ale Adumim this shabbos, to my roommates's house, with Michal. It was actually a lot of fun, if kinda quiet. (I don't mind quiet - sleep is a great thing on Shabbos. A great and wonderful thing)
The bus goes past Yaffo, so Michal and I headed to Ben Yehudah for lunch before catching the bus out. We had a bit of a panic on the bus, because normally when we're heading for Daniela's, we'll call her when we cross into Ma'ale Adumim, and she'll stand at the bus stop and call when she sees us coming so we'll know to hit the button. But this time she wasn't picking up her phone and we didn't know the name of the stop or her home number. So we panicked. She picked up on the fourth or fifth call, and it all worked out fine in the end.
We got there early and hung out for a bit, and Shabbos (like I said) was a mostly quiet affair, with lots of reading. I read three books. All of them by Eoin Colfer (of Artemis Fowl fame - I read the latest one on Friday night) but it's nice to take a mental break every once in a while. Considering I'm spending some 9+ hours a day on limudei kodesh and reading Anna Karrenina in my spare time, mindless YA novels are wonderful.
When Shabbos ended, we watched the rest of the Transformers movie (we started it last week, on Saturday night, during Daniela's second birthday party. Her first on was midnight Wednesday night (she turned 19 on Thursday) and then on Sat. night a few of us who could make it came to her house for unhealthy food and awesome movies. But we had to cut the movie short to make it back to curfew, and Michal was the only one who had never seen it, so we finished it tonight. I still love that movie, even if it's aimed at 15-year-old boys. For those...slightly older people reading this blog, I'm talking about the live-action Transformers movie that came out this summer. Not the original animated one where Optimus Prime died. I never saw that one, and based on my inability to watch old animated shows for very long without frequent breaks, I doubt I ever will.)
Anyway, a bunch of teachers from S/A/R were in the country this weeked (winter break!) so the school had a semi-reunion tonight. Michal and I headed back after the movie, and I was still fairly early for the party. It was nice. I chatted with a bunch of people whom I like but I don't keep in touch with because we're not that close. Also, it was in the OU building, which is in between Ben Yehudah (where the bus from Ma'ale Adumim let me off) and my school, so when the party ended, I just hopped on the 7 and was back in school in minutes. It was a nice night, all around.
This week, we're having a three-day tiyul in Eilat, just because. Oh, and to make everything all better, we're leaving at 2:30 in the morning. Some girls are planning on staying up because it's just not worth going to sleep. Not me! So you might not hear from me for a while (not that that's a new thing)
This update is for you Mom! Can't wait to see you!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another Shabbos, More Sufganiyot (I'm eating waaay too many of those...)

So, I'm on Chanukah vacation. I have to say, I like this system of Jewish holiday-based vacations. Tomorrow I'm planning on visiting my cousings in Tel Aviv, wish me luck. I 'm not really sure which bus to take.
But that's not waht this post is about. This post is about Shabbos. I was in Chasmonayim, with Rachel adn Joel and co. Rinat wasn't there, but it was OK, because I brought Eliana with me. I'm still sick (almost day 8 now!) so we slept in another house because Rachel's mom has a weak immune sysytem, but it was fine. We davened in that hosue on Friday night because it was raining heavily (heaviest rain I've been here for) and we had a fun vegetarian meal, I love the dairly quiches during shabbos.
We made it to shul really early the next day, and it was nice. During the Rabbi's speech, when they pull the curtains on the Machitzah back, I saw Josh and Ashy, so I went over after shul to say hi.
The shul as having some sort of shul luncheon, and Eliana and I sat at the family table, and had a meat meal. Somehow I always manage to do that whenever I visit, despite the fact that they're vegetarian. After lunch Eliana and I just slept for the rest of Shabbos, which was fantastic. Shabbos naps are saving me from my crazy schedule this year.
After Shabos Rinat was throwing a Chanukah party for her friends, which naturally included my whole senior grade. They were all invitied, less then half showed up, but it was a lot of fun. We made our own sufganiyot (it must be my fourth this year, which is crazy for me) and ate fun vegetarian hot dogs and chicken. We played some Jewish Tabboo, sat around and talked, stood around and talked, ate some more, sang some songs, etc. It was really fun. For the last half-hour or so, we watched the begining of the Simpsons Movie, and I take back everything I said to Zvi, it's hysterical.
Rinat had hired a bus to take a group to and from Yerushalayim for the party. I don't know how much it was to go both ways (I took the Chareidi Superbus into Chashmonaim again) but it was 15 shekel to take it back to Yerushalayim, so Eliana and I decided to take it back with everyone. It was fun, I chatted with Yael the whole way (and Ein Hanatziv is really laid-back) while Noam acted like a flight attendent on the microphone in front of the bus. The bus stopped at the Tachanah Merkazit, where Eliana and I got off and caught the 7 back to sem.
I'm probably going to try to go grocery shopping Monday, or at least run over the Makolet and buy milk, as I have none, but I'm missing home and the total lack of responsibility when I'm sick. You don't want to take care of yourself when you're ill, really.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


This is day four of the unidentifiable illness of doom. I've managed to miss nearly all my classes, but Shani T. says the according to Talmud, the best cure for illness is to study Torah. Somehow, I'm less then surprised.