These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Reading Tealeaves

Posted on November 12, 2012 by Mary Brett Koplen

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Originally posted on CowBird:

With Ohio in the past, I’ve counted every day I’ve been away. 37, 38, 39. Forty were the days that Noah didn’t drown. The years that Moses wandered. High above the water we float, the dry ocean heaving, bare feet pressing into ground solid but unknown. Nearness pending, but Moses never made it. Now in the inbetween. I wait. In September I move to Jerusalem.

At the University of Haifa, I learn my Hebrew. I count: “Echad, shtyim, shalosh, arbah.” I sit beside a woman from Japan who invites me over for flashcards and tea.

A friend in Ohio taught me to read tealeaves. “Swirl the dregs counterclockwise three times, drain the last of the liquid, and tell me what your oolong says.”

“Echad, shtyim, shalosh, arbah.” Says my Japanese friend in Hebrew. The tea leaves circle my cup, and I lean in close. A person, a tiny sillouete, reaches through a sea to a shape I believe is a home.