Friday, February 1, 2008

Skipping the Turkey, Winter Break, and Yeshiva

So I am going to go ahead and skip weeks and weeks of the end of my last semester recall it now would be wasting time with things I don’t remember and using space I could use for more recent developments. Forgive my skipping two or three Shabbats, Thanksgiving, finals, Chanukka, leaving for the US, my Hasidic plane buddy on the way back, and my month there including new year’s, my cousin’s wedding, Dallas, and more. since toBasically I spent a month at home. It was really nice to spend so much time with my family and a but of time with my friends many of whom I haven’t seen in over five months. Long story short I’m back.

Leaving to come back here was a bit hard. I really enjoyed how much time I spent with my family, especially my parents (and I would have also like to spend more time with my sister). That said I became very excited to come back a few days before I left. I also hit a day or two when I was sad about it and the airport was harאd but that’s how things are.

So guess what? My ‘uncle’ here made my flight arrangements and wasn’t thinking about my Shabbat plans (i.e. wanting to be at my Shabbat location before Shabbat) and so my flight left Thursday at 9:30 (was supposed to leave at 9:10) and though it was supposed to get in at 2:10 got in closer to 2:30. I got out of the airport around 3:10. Candle lighting was 4:30. No problem right? It would’ve been no problem but my sherut (communal taxi) driver was a real character. I find this guy whos going to Jerusalem, and get in the sherut. We’re sitting there waiting for it to fill up with seven people. Finally its full and I go to tell the driver who is waiting and smoking a cigarette. He tells me its not full despite my just having been in the sherut. I go back in. He comes with two people and realizes I was right. He then runs around for a few minutes, when I go after him to see if we can leave he says something about waiting for a receipt. OK, we get on the road. What can I do to make it faster? Nothing, certainly not worry. So I call a few people to announce my return, including B – my friend in the army, haven’t mentioned him for a while, well he finally was inducted and is about 9 weeks into basic training of about 13 and doing well. I take in the scenery and remember how awesome this place is. Green fields, brown hills, red-roofed towns, a blue sky (at least the day I came in), and sun. Well the driver proceeds to drop off all the people who don’t care one way or another about making it for Shabbat first despite there being three people in the sherut who are clearly religious. When I ask him when he’ll be dropping me off he responds only by asking me “ata ortodoxi or reformi?” - are you Orthordox or Reform – “What? I’m religious” I respond. “So am I” he says, though – without getting into an argument of what it is to be religious- ill tell you he was at the very least not concerned about getting anywhere for Shabbat. As I debated whether to get out and hail a cab I got free advice from other passengers about my chances of getting in on time, how one measures the time that Shabbat comes in, offers that my ‘sins’ will be on someone else’s head, and comments from the driver on how he had several good passengers that day and some bad ones though he promised not to name names. How nice of him.

Well I got dropped off at five to five which was possibly cutting it close. However just to make sure things went well I got to run up and down the street I needed to be on trying to understand how the house I was looking for, #16, could exist when the houses stopped at #14. I took out my phone – which I maybe shouldn’t have been using at that point with a kipa on my head – and called my cousin – no answer, of course. I take out the piece of paper with the address on it, Oh, its actually #14. I ‘run’ to it dragging two suitcases, a backpack, and a laptop, and sweating in my too-warm-for-Israel winter coat. I pound on the door and after another minute of sweating am let in. Blah blah blah Shabbat was ok though I could have gone without waking up at 4:30 and then getting up 6:30 because of my jetlag. On the other hand reading People magazine, a family favorite, for a few hours before shul was good. The rest of the day was nice and right after shabbat I drove back with family friends to Efrat, went to bed, and the next day got up at 6:30 to start my month at Yeshivat Hamivtar...

Next Enrty - My Big Fat First-Week-in-Yeshiva...stay tuned for what happens when I decide to live in a small place with little else to do but read Jewish stuff...


Eric G. said...

Haha, seems like you're suffering from a bit of 'Santa Got Served' Syndrome with that last entry. I'd watch your show any day.

Glad you're back in the business, my man.

Beth(any) Shalom(stein) said...


Thanks for checking in my Israeli Compadre (thats right, I turned you into an Israeli-Mexican).

Glad you're back and all settled in.

Wishing you the best for the rest of your time over there and after reading this post I guess if there is one thing I now know about Israel is that the cab drivers over there are no less peculiar as the ones over here.

Miss you bud-