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Halloween

Tomorrow is Halloween. Since I was a child, I have always loved Halloween. Every year, I would prepare for weeks in advance for the night. Our home on South Lincoln Road would be covered with all kinds of decorations, and the lawn full of all kinds of ghouls and 'spirits'. My grandmother bought me one of those lawn inflatables that are many feet tall: I remember it, a large pumpkin with three ghosts flying out of it. It was a lot of fun, and when the night finally came, the lawn of my house filled with neat decorations was such a happy sight.  Perhaps the height of my decorating career was harkened by the arrival of the police. You see, one autumn, my mother bought me a new fog machine, a special fog machine. Unlike the other ones that could only run in intervals, this one could run continuously. So, when Halloween came, a thick mist hung over not only our home's front yard, but over the street as well. Of course, the source of this manmade weather manipulation was quite o…

Something a Bit More Lighthearted

Before I post something from what I wrote during the journey back to Jerusalem, please enjoy:

So, our quaint little apartment here in Jerusalem — 5 P.M or so. We are all sitting in our rooms, listening to music, simply relaxing. Suddenly...

An odd sound fills the air, something like a chime, definitely meant to capture one's attention. I run out of my room, thinking, 'Oh no, here we go! Code red!' Thankfully, it wasn't that, but...

A voice appears, and I open the door to the hallway, looking for the voice's source. Finding it not in the hallway, my attention is directed back towards a speaker in our apartment. Unrecognized until this moment by any of us, it appears to be some kind of intercom system. The voice is now speaking in very fast Hebrew, too fast for any of us to make much of anything out of it. Then...

There is a pause. The voice says something like this:

'... Attention... Attention... Beginning at 9 P.M to 5 A.M, there will be...

...

There will be...…

Reflection

I know I should be writing more here. There really is so much to tell, so much to share, I could write all day, but no one would read it, and, it would get boring fast, as I would have no time to go out there.

This experience is so rich. Part of the reason why I am finding it so difficult to write about it is because it's just so overwhelming. I really wish there was a way to tell you, so that you could see what I see, feel what I feel, hear what I hear, ad infinitum. Even staying in this walled-off 'Student Village' on French Hill, the ground which my feet stand upon immerses me... I am no longer an observer, far away, watching the world unfold through a LCD screen, no, now, I am a witness.

But really, what does it all mean? I can see professor Michael Dobkowski saying this, holding his hand much like italians do when they don't understand — but what does it mean?

Anyone who is certain they understand this place, this land, of them I am quite skeptical. Layers upon la…
Just a quick note: 
Yesterday, after Ulpan, I got a ride back to the Kfar Studentim (Student Village) from one of my friends from class. Wow! Let me tell you, New York City driving has nothing on this...!
I'd write more, but I have to go back to the Kfar and slee, I mean study. 
Lehitraot! Or, for you non-Hebrew speakers, later!
שלום

Photo: HaKotel Plaza

Here's a picture of the gathering I wrote about in my last post.
Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem!
My apologies for taking so long to write. The internet situation has been challenging, and along with the needs to settle-in, absorb and listen, as well as study and have fun – there just hasn't been the time. Now, though, I believe I must sit down and write. As my ulpan teacher (morah) is always saying, 'cotvim! cotvim!', 'write! write!'
First, here are the highlights so far: Arrival in Tel Aviv. Boarded sherut (shared taxi) for 62 sheckels. While I waited, I was greeted by a young lady from Jerusalem who, upon seeing me said, "Wow, well, you're sure happy to be here." She read it on my face! Also, upon boarding the sherut, the driver began yelling in Hebrew because he wanted me to move to the back of the sherut in order to give my seat up to a young lady who did not want to sit between the two Jews in the back. Even though I didn't understand what he was saying, when he boarded the sherut and started yelling while …

Photos until Now... Plus El Al!

(the numbering went wrong; I trust that the reader can discern which caption belongs where!)

Photo #1: My grandmother checking out my luggage back at home.

Photo #2: My great friend, Josh Best, the night before I left for this 'adventure'.

Photo #3: Deb, the dear waitress from Jay's Diner. She noticed this in the newspaper and advised I ride one.

Photo #4: Some sheqalim!

Photo #5: A very dirty Pennsylvania Hotel. Note the horrendous mold growth on the curtain.

Photo #6: Stained glass from the offices of Hebrew University, Battery Park Plaza, NYC.

I'm really at a loss for words at this point. The man from El Al that screened me at the check-in desk was very kind, courteous, and polite. Besides the intimidation innate in being screened, it was a pleasant experience. Plus, the questions weren't too prying — hallelujah!

More later. Thanks to everyone who has sent me beautiful emails and posted kind comments on Facebook. I will be reading these as I travel.

Shalom.








The Hour Draweth Nigh! (not neigh)

The time is coming, and so fast!

It's hard to believe, really, hard to fathom that, in thirteen days, I'll be leaving on a jet plane — for Tel Aviv.


What? I'm going where? Hold the phone. Since when?

That's the exact question that has been bouncing around my brain all day. An evaluation reaching back to elementary school is definitely in order, centering around Sr. Sheila, a religious sister of St. Joseph. It's an interesting exercise, to draw the lines from Sister Sheila and Sr. Claire Francis and Mrs. Scarfile, all the way to the moment right now, but right now, it's only leading to a frustrating inner-dialogue on, "Just how far back do the lines go?" My mind may be, but in these final days until 'departure', my soul just isn't interested in a debate on Fate.

In the coming days, short pieces on those influential people will be posted. I hope you'll enjoy the stories, and, perhaps you'll see the connections, too.