randomness...: April 2005

My opinions, updates on my life, all sorts of "randomness"...

Friday, April 29, 2005

Wednesday, 4/27
Met Casey & David for lunch at Coffee Shop. Casey went to go meet a friend, and David & I went to Tel Aviv to spend the afternoon there. Only flaw in our plan, was we didn't check bus schedules ahead of time. We got to Tel Aviv at 4:30, the last bus to Rosh Pina was at 5. Oh well... Hung out in the bus station, then took a ridiculous bus ride in horrible traffic to Rosh Pina.

We were staying with Kenny & Orli, and met Kenny for dinner right when we got there. Then David & I joined Jon Jon (whose now just Jon) and his friends for a "trip." Basically we just drove to the Jordan river and hung out. I forgotten how funny it is to hang out when you're 15/16. Half the time was spent talking about what was going to happen/getting ready to go. So entertaining. Him and his friends are all into ATVs and toys like that. It was kinda cute...

Thursday, 4/28
Casey got to Rosh Pina at about 3, and I hung out with her while David drove Jon to look at an ATV in Tzfat (telling you, the kid's slightly obsessed). Casey just got dreads the other day, so I spent a lot of time helping her with them. I'm so jealous... Been seriously thinking about doing them again...

Thursday night we hung out at Cafe Gitel, listening to the live music, then hung out with Jon & his friends (and worked on Casey's hair).

Friday, 4/29
After looking at some cute pictures of Dad when he was younger (gotta love the beard!), I caught the bus back to Yerushalyim. Wasn't a bad ride. Met this cool kid who goes to Mayanot, Moshe/Marlin (Moshe here, Marlin in the States), so I just talked with him the whole time. It's so weird to spend so much time talking with someone you'll never see again... My instinct is always to hold on, to not let anyone (or anything) go. But sometimes it's okay to just have isolated cool experiences, without needing anything else. I'm working on that...

And now, I'm getting ready for yet another wonderful Shabbas (and Chag) in Yerushalyim. Gotta love this place. :)

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I love Yerushalyim. These past few days have been gorgeous, bright and sunny. Both today and yesterday I walked downtown, then sat in a park reading for awhile. I have been reading so much since I got here--several books already. Now I'm reading Angela's Ashes, which I've been meaning to read for awhile. Yesterday it was Dan Brown's Digital Fortress... Yesterday I ran into Uri on Ben Yehudah, then chilled with him, Zev, Josh & Josh for the rest of the day. Today I met up with my cousin David (Droz) & Casey Weiss. Hung out with them most of the day, showing David around downtown (his first Ben Yehudah/shuk experience), then over to Emek for a delicious Pesach meal at Caffit. It's amazing how much easier Pesach is here. I've barely even eaten matzah (besides at the Seder), & I'm actually full! Crazy..

Tomorrow David & I are headed to Tel Aviv, then him, Casey & I are up to Rosh Pina, then I'll be back in J-town for Shabbas. Should be exciting... As a side note, this not taking busses thing is getting to me--today was an expensive cab day! (interesting that David's allowed to take busses here & I'm not. Hmmm...)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Friday night I went to Yakar for services. I love services there, but it's amazing how evolving the community is. A totally different crowd then when I was on Nativ, or even a few years ago when I was at Pardes. And yet I still love it, showing that it's something special about the place itself (odd, since those of you who've been there no that the place itself really isn't anything special, just a room).

Saturday night Ronen & I went to Uri Allen & Jenny Labendz's Seder. It was an eclectic mix of people, but I had a great time. Uri & Jenny did an amazing job organizing and leading it, not too mention the wonderful food they made--I was super impressed! We went late into the night, but I really enjoyed it. Learned a bunch, including some cool customs that people have.

Don't really have plans now... Might go somewhere over chol ha'moed, but I haven't really figured out where yet... Might just stay in Yerushalyim, seeing as I could never get sick of this place. :)

Things are going much better now, especially since I'm feeling better. The remaining bad thing, is that my iBook still isn't working. Those of you who know how protective (paranoid, maybe?) I am of my iBook, know how much this is killing me... Hopefully I won't have lost everything (and when I say "everything", I mean my whole life is on that computer. Oy...)

So Chag Sameach, & I'll update soon!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Well, this week has been...Interesting. Spent my first couple days in Israel sick, probably from not sleeping for almost a week thanks to a Young Judaea convention and traveling. My cell phone that I bought to make life easier kept not working, causing me to go back to the store 4 times in three days, and then, the kicker, tried to turn my iBook on this morning and it went kinda nuts and wouldn't start. Awesome. ( And don't worth, that "awesome" was being said with as much sarcasm as is humanly possible). But at least my phone is working, right? Man...

So I know I promised I'd talk about Amsterdam, but this computer I'm on is so ancient that typing really isn't so much fun. So the short story is I had a 7 hour layover in Amsterdam, so I went downtown and looked around a bit. Looked in some ridiculous stores, went on a canal tour, went to the Anne Frank house... Amsterdam is beautiful--I would definitely love to spend more time there at some point.

Flight from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv was mostly uneventful, until half an hour before we were supposed to land the pilot made an announcement. Apparently the fuel in Tel Aviv was contaminated so they wouldn't be able to refuel there, which meant they wouldn't make it back to Amsterdam. Sooo they decided to stop in Cyprus to refuel. How crazy is that? Instead of our already late arrival time of 1:30, we didn't land until almost 3. Man...

So basically, so far this hasn't been my usual "I love Israel" trip. Not that I don't still love it, it's just been hard. But Shabbas is coming, then Pesach, & I bought a gorgeous "Shalom of Safed" Haggadah, so that's all exciting.

Well, this "short" post has gotten a bit long, so that's all for now. Have a great Pesach, & hopefully I'll have better stories next time I write!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I bought a cell phone!!!
054-423-8463 (or 011-972-544-238-463 from the States)
So that's me, keeping in touch with the world, even while in Israel...
Call me!

I'm in Israel!!
After days of travel, including an unplanned landing in Cyprus (no joke-I'll explain later), I finally landed in Israel this morning at 3 a.m.! I'll write more later, about my trip, and Amsterdam... Don't really have a phone yet here, so e-mail is the best way if you need to contact me, or else I'll be picking up voice mail from my US cell.
Peace out from the Holy Land!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

To the Girls of 517:
I'm leaving for Chicago in a few hours, then off to Israel on Sunday, and most of you won't be in Ann Arbor when I get back, so this is pretty much goodbye... Thank you for everything. Living with you this year has been amazing. I've gotten to know all of you in such different, real, ways. Who would have ever thought that sharing a house with six other girls would have been so painless & drama-free? You're all incredible people, and I'm so glad that we've become friends. I'm going to miss you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

"I am Dorothy snapped up by the tornado, and the Wicked Witch is whizzing by on a stick."
~~Koren Zailckas, "Smashed"

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

When we were in Philly I had this kinda cool experience... Josh has a broken ankle, so we got him a wheelchair so he could come to Shabbas dinner/shul with us, and not "walk" 2 miles on crutches. It was so much tougher than I thought it would be. It's amazing how many sidewalks are too narrow, or overgrown with bushes, or the concrete is uneven, or there's no ramp (or not a smooth enough ramp) leading up from the street...I could go on. Luckily Josh could just get out of his chair and hop around while we moved the chair around difficult parts, but what about people who aren't that lucky? On the walk back on Friday night we met this amazing man, Ray Leight. He's been in a wheelchair since a motercycle accident in '91, & is some sort of wheelchair ballroom dancing champion, in addition to reporting for NBC in Philly. So impressive, such a great outlook on life... Amazing to be able to keep such a positive outlook on life.

On a different note:
Israel Prize laureate Ehud Manor dies at the age of 64
"Manor's oeuvre comprises hundreds of songs that have become cornerstones of Israeli music, such as "Ein li Erertz Aheret" (I Have No Other Land), "Lo Dibarnu od al Ahava" (We Didn't Speak About Love Anymore) and "Bashana Haba'ah" (Next Year).

His song "Aba Ni Bi," composed by Nurit Hirsch, won the 1977 Eurovision competition.

"One of the greatest creators of modern Hebrew culture has gone," said Education Minister Limor Livnat in a statement Tuesday. "Today is a day of mourning for the entire Israeli people." "

Friday, April 08, 2005

"Don't get so hung up on labels or labeling yourself. Just be a Jew and figure out the davening community that most jives with what you believe and need." ~~Rabbi Jason Miller

After the Dor Chadash BBQ on Thursday, I spent awhile talking with Jason about my egal/non-egal/where do I "belong" debate. I still don't have answers, but it was a great talk.

I'm in Philly for Maddy's Bat Mitzvah... But I'll be back Sunday Morning for Young Judaea's trip to the Detroit Zoo. If anyone wants to join us, let me know!

Shabbat Shalom!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"Something went wrong,
You're not laughing.
It's not so easy now to get you to smile.
You gotta be strong,
To walk these streets
And keep from falling.
But when you're not, just let yourself cry.

You've been working hard
Just trying to pay the rent
Tryin' to draw the line between who you are and who you invent.
But if you throw a stone,
Something's gonna shatter somewhere.
We're all so fragile
We're all so scared.

You say you wanna learn how to live your life without tears,
But we've been trying to do that for thousands of years.
So go on and cry Ophelia
It's the only thing to do sometimes.
You know I'm crying too
Right there with you
It's alright, Ophelia
Everybody cries...

You pray for rain
But you don't want it from a storm.
Yeah, you find a rose
And cut your finger on a thorn.

So go on and cry, Ophelia
It's the only thing to do sometimes.
You know I'm crying too
Right there with you
It's alright, Ophelia
Everybody cries."
~~"Cry Ophelia," Adam Cohen

I finally went to visit Kenny's grave today. I've been saying I was going to for a year now, but I haven't. I've even driven there a couple times, but turned around before going in. This was my first time following through. I wasn't ready. Even today, when I actually went, I wasn't ready.

I think about him every day. Every day, there's at least one moment where something makes me think of him. Mundane things like bright colored socks, flipping through a photo album, talking to people who know him, or just for no real reason. And of course there's always the stranger on the street, that with a brief glance & a wonderful memory lapse I think might be him. It's those moments before everything comes rushing back to me... Those moments when I can tell a story that involves him & still laugh...Until the pain of reality sets in & I have to choke back tears, pretend to be okay.

Today was about reality. The reality of being in the cemetery, & seeing his name. When I found his grave, there was no way I could hold the tears in. The came streaming out, seemingly never-ending. I'm not sure how long I sat there, just crying... And when I would momentarily be able to pull myself together, I'd try to talk, & the tears would start again. I miss him so much...

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Friday night I went back to my "roots" in Ann Arbor, to the Conservative Minyan (now Dor Chadash). Impressive how far the Minyan has come in the years since I switched to the Orthodox Minyan. I still don't know where I stand in terms of egal/non-egal, and would still rather call myself "observant" or "religious" than a label like "Conservative" or "Orthodox," but it was a nice service. Jeremy Baruch did a great job leading Kabbalat Shabbat, Carlebach style, and people were actually participating! Quite a stretch from my failed solo performance when I attempted to lead Carlebach style back in 2000.

Shabbas was walking through Ann Arbor, being entertained by old friends, a crazy squirrel eating a slice of pizza in the Diag, and colorful Ann Arbor personalities.
(Kid 1: "Dude, we missed Hash Bash... What do we do now?"
Kid 2: "At least we made it here, man..." drag on cigarette "Let's take a victory lap around the Diag.")

Kol HaKavod concert Saturday night was really good--I was impressed. Quite a difference from a few years ago, when their concerts were almost painful to listen to. Now they're actually good; I didn't even have to force myself not to cringe! And of course Fox got to go up for the traditional "alumni song," Nachamu. :) Party at the boys house afterwards made me realize I've gotten too old for house parties...

This evening Bethany, Roth & I went to the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Oh my goodness, was it amazing... Couple favorites: "One World" is this intense kayak film, with huge whitewater. Totally awesome. "A Russian Wave" is this hysterical film about this girl & guy scouting whitewater in Russia. And of course, my favorite, "Alone Across Australia," the amazing tale of John Muir's solo hike across Australia. Wow.

Bethany & I are going to go camping this spring, when I get back from Israel. I so can't wait...


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