Category Archives: second temple

On the Way to the Wedding

I’m back online and ready to write a few more entries. Many updates to fill you in on. This is my first time commemorating Tisha B’Av (which started tonight) in Jerusalem. Almost everything here is closed tomorrow, and there is no Ulpan. The day takes on an altogether new meaning when you’re in the same city where the two Temples were destroyed (to say the least!). Fewer secular Israelis, on the other hand, commemorate the holiday. Here’s a poll that talks more about that. 

Tomorrow I will be going to Pardes’ day of learning. Topics of lectures include “When G-d is Unjust” “Why Was the Land Destroyed” “Why Learn Job” “Kinot with Explanations” and “Torah Yoga.” I’ll let you know which ones I end up attending. And then I have to study Hebrew like mad, since I was just bumped up to level 3 and have lots more work than before. (More about that soon). Can someone give me an explanation about “smichot” in Hebrew grammar?

Here’s more about our trip to last week’s wedding:

Eric and I made our way to the Binyamina train station on Thursday afternoon where good ol’ Etamar was waiting to pick us up. We first took a cab to the train station at Beit Shemesh, a city outside of Jerusalem. The driver decided to take the quicker ‘back way,’ which entailed our going through a section of the West Bank. It was a brief but memorable excursion. It is a hauntingly beautiful landscape–rolling hills dotted with green bushes and stone walls and barriers and fences.  Continue reading


Israel Museum and Other Sites

Before we started Ulpan classes and before we had any homework we decided to visit the Israel Museum, which is located near the Knesset. From our place in Katamon it’s about a 30 minute walk with part of it uphill.

I would say that no other museum has such a mix of the sacred and profane, ancient and modern under one roof as the Israel museum. In the same day I saw an excellent exhibit on Dadaism and Surrealism (where Duchamp’s infamous Fountain was on display) and the Dead Sea Scrolls and Aleppo Codex. That’s Israel for you. Who the heck knows what type of archaelogical treasures are buried beneath our modern apartment.  Continue reading