From my Instagram:
From my blog:
i shaved this face and it was actually really difficult. electrical razor, you are not my friend.
Thanks to MASA Israel, I’ve had the chance to confirm for myself, in excruciating and extensive detail that Israel is a pretty small country. Like, really small. Usually we mean that the landmass of Israel is teeny (smaller if you, like me, are disinclined to include the west bank as Israel; but that’s a really troublesome issue so LET’S NOT GET BOGGED DOWN!); or that there is a very small populace.
The population of Israel is pretty small. With a population of 8.018 million as of last Tuesday (it’s only in Hebrew, sorry!), I hear a lot of stories about running into a friend of a friend anywhere. A college friend’s father served side-by-side with our Hebrew professor’s late brother, z”l.
But that’s not what I want to talk about! We’ll get to Israel, nation of bulbul, at a later date. Today, I want to just quickly tell the story of how I got an electric razor and a scale and a wicked discount.
From my blog:
ד׳ באייר תשע״ג
April 14, 2013
יום ראשון Yom Rishon, the first day (of the week) meaning Sunday…
[I’ve decided to try to write seemingly mundane highlights for blog posts from now on since it has been so difficult for me to actually invest time in the extremely detailed descriptions I initially wrote many moons ago.]
I begin my day with the sunshine and birds’ sweet songs streaming into my bedroom from the window which opens onto my balcony.
On my walk to school two high school boys pass me, apparently reviewing for an exam, and I overhear one say to the other, ”רש”י אומר” which means “Rashi says” … Rashi is a French medieval commentator of Jewish text who is seen as the father of all commentators.
Starting last week, balconies and cars began to display Israeli flags in anticipation of the holidays observed this week and next, יום הזכרון, Yom HaZikaron, Memorial Day, יום העצמאות, Yom HaAtzmaut, Independence Day, and יום ירושלים, Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. This morning I noticed even more flags waving in the wind from balconies, in front of schools and businesses… Continue reading
Never underestimate the impact of one good deed, on the doer at least as much as on the recipient.
I went on Birthright through Hillel in late December 2008. During one of our pre-Israel orientation sessions, they told us we would have the opportunity to pack suitcases filled with clothes, shoes, toys, etc.at the JCC something like the Sunday before our trip, which, from looking at calendars, I guess was probably December 14, to bring to kids in the children’s village in Karmiel, Pittsburgh’s sister city, during our day of community service.
I turned to my friend and asked if he was going. He wasn’t sure.
“If you go, I’ll go,” I told him. He said he’d see.
That Shabbat, he told me he was going. So I decided I would go too.
When I arrived at the JCC, I didn’t see him and considered turning back (I get immensely shy in new places where I don’t know anyone, and this goes triple for those places where you need to explain yourself over an intercom to get in), but then I thought of the mitzvah, took a deep breath, waited to catch the door after someone coming or going, then went in. I soon recognized some people, including my friend, in a room just to the right of the entrance stuffing suitcases with colorful clothes, toys, and, since these were for Israeli children, Crocs. I went in, said hi to my friend, found some stuff to stuff, and began stuffing it for tzedaka.
Shortly after I arrived, a woman came up and introduced herself as Tsipy, the Director of the Agency for Jewish Learning. I told her I was a student at Pitt. She asked me what I study. “Writing,” I said.
“Do you want an internship?” Continue reading
Daniel Shibley (Yr. '11, Fellows '12) shares some anecdotes:
- Early Sunday morning I was standing at the bus stop in Jerusalem, awaiting the arrival of the first of two buses that would take me back to yeshiva. Despite the early hour, the non-bus lanes were already clogged with traffic, and the lines at the red lights grew longer and longer. Suddenly an ambulance required immediate passage through the gridlocked lanes. Some drivers attempted Continue reading
From my blog:
I’d like to use this post to respond to a sentiment that I have frequently heard in recent years among Israelis with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The sentiment goes something like this: “I’m in favor of peace with the Palestinians, including a two-state solution in which the Palestinians would have a state in most of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. I supported it back in the ’90s when it seemed about to become a reality, and in theory I would support it today. However, Israel has tried and tried to create this sort of deal with the Palestinians, and it has failed because there is no serious partner on the Palestinian side. Therefore, I do not support efforts to reach a deal with the Palestinians at the present time.” Continue reading
Emly Oren left Israel with her family at the age of four, but in many ways Israel never left her family. At school in Orange County, Emly was the only Israeli student; but her family continued to speak Hebrew at home, and they only watched Israeli television programs. The Orens would travel to Israel every summer to visit all of their relatives, and they would sometimes stop by other locations en route to their main destination.
As a child, Emly drew no distinction between being Jewish and being Israeli. Her traditional, secular family would remain at home together on Friday evenings for Kiddush and Shabbat dinner; and every year they would attend services at Chabad for the High Holy Days, but Emly felt no connection to that environment because it didn’t reflect the rhythm or culture of her family life. When Emly somehow decided to have a bat mitzvah, she chose to hold services at a local public library… and of course, her bat mitzvah party theme was ‘Israel’.
This morning on the street was quite like a chag / holiday. No one was working because it was election day. Most of the people who were out were on their way to vote, just like me! I didn’t actually know where the place was that I was suppose to vote, but when I arrived, I knew that I was in the right spot.
I went in, everyone has a number. My number was 965. It really just directed me to a room. And probably to this list, below.
Maybe it’s because I grew up feeling like one, or maybe it’s just some genetic Jewish thing, but for whatever reason, I’ve always sympathized with the outsider. When I went on the Tale of Three Cities tiyyul the two weeks ago, I didn’t know what to expect, except that we were going to meet three very different women—one Muslim, one Haredi, one a secular kibbutznik—on their home turfs, less than a mile away from each other in the foothills leading up to Jerusalem.
I don’t think you can understand something unless you understand its “opposite.” I put “opposite” in quotes here because the more “opposites” you encounter, the more you come to realize that opposites are defined more by their similarities than their differences: The opposite of “down” is “up” and not “lip balm” because “up” and “down” are essentially the same thing just going in different directions, and sometimes this difference is only a matter of subjective perspective, while others, such as when you’re drowning, you can’t even tell which is which. Put differently, in moments of crisis, sometimes subjective categories cease to exist altogether and along with them the whole concept of “opposites.”
Having defined my terms, I can now say that Continue reading
I doodled once on the cover of my notebook, but I didn’t take any notes. Every time we met with a speaker, I brought my notebook and pen with me, but I never once wrote down what they were saying. I’m not sure that I couldn’t have; I’m only sure that I didn’t want to.
The two days of our Perspectives Israel trip were completely packed with speaker after speaker. We ate lunch on the bus because otherwise we wouldn’t have made it back before Shabbat on Friday. And we really stuck to our schedule. They spoke, we asked, they answered, and we left for the bus. Speaker after speaker after speaker.
I think my concern was mostly about being present with them.