On the Couch with the Flu

Hi everybody,

I had to take a brief sabbatical from blogging for a number of reasons. First, while I haven’t been writing on the blog, I’ve been writing and rewriting my essay for Hebrew U. (I must repeatedly thank my friend Abigail for looking at several rounds.) Man, trying to write about yourself without sounding cliche in 500 words is hard. I had brainstormed dozens and dozens of possible experiences to include in the essay, and I only ended up using a couple. Blogging is much easier because I can write about whatever I want and go off on random tangents. (Of course, who knows if anyone reads my long entries!)

In addition to wrapping up my application, I recently started Hebrew classes at Ulpan Milah 2 evenings a week. It really crunches my schedule, but since I’m going to be living here, I figured that it’s never to early to learn some more Hebrew. It’s also a good school. My teacher is this bubbly, chubby woman who is good at keeping me from falling asleep, and her cheerful demeanor helps motivate me to drag myself to class. The group is an interesting mix of recent olim and less recent ones, younger and older folks, Russians, Brazilians, French, Americans, one or two Germans and who knows whom else. There is a smattering of nonJews, including a priest from Brazil, and a couple of Palestinians. It’s a far different experience than Ulpan Etzion, which was, to put it bluntly, a sea of hormone-frenzied 20 somethings.
Another reason I’ve been incommunicado: We spent last Shabbat with a guy who works at Teva (an Israeli pharmaceutical company). In addition to running the household, his wife has a PhD in nursing and teaches. His family is really cool and they served a ton of food. They live in a settlement just over the green line called Hasmonian. (I know, I know, Mom. Some of my teachers also live over the green line too. And no I’m not going to live in the West Bank.) The entire yishuv is surrounded by a periphery fence and a guy in truck routinely patrols it. We went walking on Shabbat afternoon and found an empty field that looked out onto the surrounding landscape. Four or five Arab villages dotted the surroundings as well as the towering buildings of an Ultraorthodox settlement. It was a beautiful landscape but it definitely gave me the shivers.

Anyway I digress. I was also pretty busy this week meeting up with folks from my old shul who came to Israel for a week. It was great to see some of the old gang and Rabbi Herzfeld who was really excited about our moving here. I was also happy to see my friends Erica and Ken who also joined the shul trip. Ken had never visited Israel, so it was a treat to see him walking around starry-eyed, soaking everything in. I think they’ll be visiting us in the coming years. 🙂 I kept forgetting to take pictures of folks while they were here, but I’ll ask my friends to send me a few of their shots.

And another reason I’ve been away from the blog is that I’ve gotten the flu and so has Eric. 😦 Studying at Pardes is like immersing yourself in a culture of viruses. Okay I feel like crap right now, so I’m going to sign off!

Shabbat Shalom

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