These and Those

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

The Search for Delicious

Posted on December 13, 2012 by Shoshana Rosen

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Originally posted on my blog:

In 5th grade we read a book in class called The Search for Delicious… A couple of months after reading this book, we had to pick our favorite book and do a book report on it. But, because I HATED to read, I just picked The Search for Delicious, a book I already read, thus I wouldn’t have to read another book,

Truthfully, I didn’t really even like the book THAT much. But the book (at least as I remember it) was about this king who wanted to know the definition of Delicious. So he asked all hundreds of people, and had his servants search for the answer. But, he realized there is just no ‘one’ definition of delicious, and that he needs to find his own definition.

So why did this book come up in my head today as I was walking the streets? Especially after not thinking about it for over 10 years?

Maybe, it has to do with the fact that I am searching for something, something only I can do. What may be right for others may not be right for me. So I have to do the dirty work and go out and search for it!!

So my walk today started with getting on the wrong bus. But I got off and started walking and bumped into an old buddy from University who is now joining the army in a couple of weeks! So I walked him part of the way to the kotel (the western wall)—which happened to be totally out of the way of where I wanted to go, but it was worth it!

We parted at Mamilla, and I headed down a street I never went before, through some park, to another greenish park and I was preoccupied because I wanted to find this coffee shop that a friend told me about. At one point I was just so focused on my ‘destination’ that I wasn’t focused on the really cool tree that I passed by!!

This is the perfect example of what I have been struggling a lot with, how to be present when you have no clue what the future will hold. And every day, multiple times I day I think “how could I ever leave these beautiful streets of Jerusalem” on the other hand I think “is it really worth it to start all over, and work so hard, get new degrees try to find a job etc. when my support system and everything is back in nyc ( and I do love nyc!)

But, I take a breath and say, I am present. Just like Avraham in parshat Vayeria, Avraham answered “heneni” here I am, 3 times. During major life events, unknown and scary he was present. Compared to Lot’s wife, who couldn’t handle the change, the idea of leaving her town, and turned around, and was turned into a pile of salt. So I don’t want to be focused on the past, or future, but present. Heneni!

And when I finally found the cute coffee shop, I couldn’t really even eat there because they were doing construction on the block and it was TOO loud to eat! (But thank you hummus chevtruah for such a wonderful recommendation!!)

So I kept on walking, through the beautiful streets of rachiva, which I never have really explored before! I even found a street that had my name!

The best part was after walking for a half an hour or so, I found this BEAUTIFUL promenade, with gorgeous apartments on each side and in the middle were trees and a path way. With the best surprise, A CAFÉ!! So I sat down and enjoyed the fresh air, falling sun, and my cappuccino.

I continued my walk but quickly realized that I really had to go to the bathroom!! But unlike NYC, or D.C there isn’t a Starbucks on every block that are perfect for bathroom use. So I had to get a little more creative!! I ended up finding the Wilson medical center (where I spent much time after fracturing my back a couple of months ago!) but this time, it felt full circle to go when feeling healthy, and just go in to use the bathroom and fill up my water bottle!

After being refreshed, I continued through the very hareidi (ultra-orthodox neighborhood) took my scarf and covered my collar bone (I have a particularly sexy collar bone). I have a hard time going through neighborhoods like this, because it reminds me of when I went to Maaya Sharrim and got egged, even though I was dressed modestly ( I have to admit, I was wearing open toe shoes and my hot ankles were showing) I guess hot ankles are some Hareidim’s Achilles heal 🙂

But I did realize that I have to be at least semi aware of where I am walking, because some neighborhoods are not so safe for me to walk through.

NO matter how lost I feel, I do find my way back. Because just as I was giving up hope that I would never find where I am, I found a street a recognized. And it happened to be my favorite street, called shatz!! This holds my favorite coffee shop and used books store!  Got a new book called The Lover by A.B Yehoshua– Even visited the artist open house, a free gallery! Finally, I headed home on a bus after dark to go home.

I’m not sure if I am really going to find out any answers while doing these walks, but I do know that whatever happens I am getting to know this majestic city better and that is enough for me!

Cannot wait for my next adventure.